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This picture is the oldest known, found 

on a Tomb in the Catacombs. 

THE ""•'■■• ■■■' 










5705 South Boulevard 





Published 1915. 


4827 *-i^ 



Introduction by T. K 9 

Preface by the Translator 15 

Description of Jesus 23 

Death- Warrant of Jesus 27 


Letter from an **Esseer'' in Jerusa- 
lem to his Brethren in Alexandria. 31 

Closing Eemarks of the German Trans- 
lator 129 

PAET n. 

The Order of the Essees among the 
Jewish People 151 


A brief explanation is due the reader 
before he proceeds to a perusal of the most 
interesting Letter which follows the 
Preface to this little volume. 

The English translation of the ancient 
Latin copy of the Letter was made by a 
German. It is evidenced on every page of 
his translation that he was not sufficiently 
acquainted with the English language to 
make a good English translation. 

This suggestion has reference to the 
literary form of his work as a translator, 
and not to the substance of the text. There 
can be no doubt that he has preserved the 
meaning of the original manuscript with 
remarkable fidelity. 

But in many places he has made use of 
English expressions which are crude and 
quite out of keeping with our present 
understanding of cultured literary form. 

12 The Crucifixion 

For this reason I have deemed it advis- 
able to revise his rendition of the text in 
such manner as somewhat to remove the 
rough corners of his work, and present to 
the reader the exact substance of the An- 
cient Letter in a little better English form. 

In no sense have I changed its meaning, 
and in many places have refrained from 
substituting my own method of expression 
where his rendition is more or less crude 
and lacking in elegance of diction. My re- 
vision of his translation, therefore, is not 
as complete as it might have been made had 
his method of expression been discarded 

My purpose has been to place the exact 
substance of the Ancient Letter before the 
reader in such language as to make it en- 
tirely intelligible, and at the same time 
preserve as much of the translator's own 
form of expression as possible. I believe I 
have succeeded. 

No changes whatsoever have been made 
in the ** Closing Remarks of the German 

Introduction 13 

Translator/' nor in **Part 11." My revi- 
sion, therefore, is confined entirely to the 
** Letter'' of the Esseer in which he tells 
his brethren in Alexandria the true story 
of the Crucifixion, and gives them the facts 
and incidents connected therewith, as he 
witnessed them. 

The following additional facts concern- 
ing the German translation may be of in- 
terest to the reader in this connection : 

It was published in this country in 1873. 
For reasons which the intelligent reader 
will doubtless understand as he proceeds, 
the book was withdrawn from publication 
at once upon its appearance. The plates 
were destroyed, and it was supposed that 
all the published copies of the book were 
likewise disposed of. 

Fortunately, however, one copy found its 
way into the possession of a prominent 
Mason in the state of Massachusetts. There 
it remained securely until accidentally dis- 
covered by his daughter some time during 
the early summer of the present year 

14 The Crucifixion 

This lady, knowing my interest in things 
Masonic, kindly sent me the copy for ex- 
amination. I at once recognized its remark- 
able nature and supreme value and 

Immediately was started* an inquiry 
through a number of the most prominent 
book houses and publishing concerns, to 
ascertain if other copies of the little book 
could be found. At the same time inquiry 
was made to ascertain if the official copies 
of the book were still on file in the Con- 
gressional Library. 

To my surprise, not another copy of the 
book can be found, after some four months 
of diligent search. 

The most remarkable phase of the mat- 
ter seems to be, that the official copies which 
were deposited with the Librarian of Con- 
gress, in compliance with the Law of Copy- 
rights, have also disappeared At any 
rate, in reply to inquiry, the report comes 
back that no such book is to be found in 
the Congressional Library. 

Introduction 15 

If this be true, it would then appear that 
the copy from which the following revision 
was made is, without doubt, the only copy 
in existence. 

To be sure, the Latin MS., from which 
the translation into English was made, is 
still in existence, and is in the hands of 
the Masonic Fraternity in Germany, where, 
no doubt, it will remain securely guarded 
from Anti-Masonic vandalism. 

The vital nature of the document cannot 
fail to impress itself upon the intelligent 
reader and student of religious history. 
And it is sincerely to be hoped that it will 
not suffer another eclipse. 

TK, Author of '^ The Great Work." 

Chicago, November, 1907. 

L r^ r 


A member of the Abyssinian Mercantile 
Company discovered in Alexandria an 
ancient house, formerly occupied by Gre- 
cian friars, in whose library — to oblivion 
abandoned — ^was found an old parchment. 
A French literate, accidentally present, at 
once commenced deciphering it: but a mis- 
sionary, in the ardor of fanatical ortho- 
doxy, tried by all means to destroy the 
antique document. But the efforts of the 
Jesuit missionary do not seem to have been 
successful, as a copy of the Latin original 
was written, which copy, through the Free- 
masons, found its way into Germany. 

It has been proved from the archeologi- 
cal discoveries made on the spot, that the 
house where the parchment was found was 
owned and occupied by the Order of 
'^Esseens." Further, that the document 
found was the only remains of literature 

18 The Crucifixion 

from the once well-filled library of this 
scientific and religious Order or Brother- 

The French literate, who first conceived 
the importance and historical worth of the 
manuscript, tried hard to enrich the French 
Academy with the original, but, owing to 
the intrigues of the Jesuit mission in Egypt 
(bent on destroying a document so detri- 
mental to their doctrine), he was not suc- 
cessful; although it was preserved princi- 
pally through the interference of influen- 
tial Abyssinian merchants and Pythagori- 
cal Societies, from whom the copy above 
spoken of came into the possession of the 
modern institution of Freemasons, and a 
society in Germany now possesses, without 
doubt, the only copy in existence. 

As regards the discovered antique docu- 
ment, it consisted of a letter which the 
so-called '^Terapeut'* (the elder), the high- 
est esteemed member of the Brotherhood, 
had written to his brethren in Alexandria, 
in the name of the Brotherhood in Jeru- 

Preface 19 

salem. This letter was written by him only 
a few years after the death of Jesus, giving 
a full description of the life, doctrine and 
death of Jesus, who the letter proves to 
have belonged to and been a member of 
their Brotherhood. 

Eumors of his miracles, and finally of his 
martyrdom, had also reached Alexandria, 
and as the brethren there had a conviction 
that he was their brother, preached their 
doctrines, used their sign of recognition, 
and lived in accordance with their rules, 
they manifested a desire to be informed on 
the subject, as to the real truth of the 

To obtain this information, their leader, 
or **Terapeut," had written a letter to his 
colleague in Jerusalem, who in reply wrote 
the letter from which we obtain a clear and 
truthful account of this important and in- 
teresting subject. It is a fact, which never 
has been doubted by those familiar with 
ancient history, that the Esseers always 
spoke and wrote the strictest truth; and 

20 The Crucifixion 

this, added to their moral and scientific 
lives, puts an end to any doubt as to the 
correctness and genuineness of the infor- 
mation given in the ancient discovered 

Although not at first organized among 
the Jews, this Order existed already in the 
days of the '*Maccabai"; and with them it 
assumed more of a national outward form, 
at the same time maintaining most of the 
ancient pythagoraeical doctrines. Most of 
the members were agriculturists and gar- 
deners, and assembled together to promote 
virtue and wisdom among themselves. Fur- 
thermore, they devoted themselves, espe- 
cially in the higher degrees, to the art of 
healing, induced thereto through their 
studies of nature and art, and were well 
acquainted with the effects of most then 
known plants and minerals for recruiting 
the human system. This knowledge they 
made useful by healing and comforting the 

They were true communists, and all put 

Preface 21 

their gains into the common treasury. Be- 
fore sunrise they never spoke to each other 
of earthly matters, but met in prayer at 
break of day. Having taken their morning 
meal and put on a peculiar kind of work- 
ing clothes, they proceeded to their place 
of work. At noon they again came to- 
gether, and, having washed their hands and 
feet and dressed themselves in clean white 
robes, they ate their dinner together. 

According to their moral standing and 
ability, they were divided into four classes 
or degrees. In the first degree were espe- 
cially adopted children (the **Esseens^' 
hardly ever married), but in case an adult 
wished to be admitted into their Order, it 
was necessary to go through a very severe 
moral trial for the term of three years. 

It was strictly prohibited for a member 
of high degree to divulge any of the secrets 
of his degree to any of lower rank. 

The punishment for such a trespass was 
expulsion from the Brotherhood. Nothing 
but a strictly moral life, wisdom, godliness. 

22 The Crucifixion 

and excellency in science, entitled to the 
higher degrees. In their domestic life they 
exercised hospitality and benevolence, kept 
the rules of the Order strictly, and never 
took any interest or part in politics or revo- 
lutions. Thus they showed a thoroughly 
peaceable disposition. 

Their greeting and sign of recognition 
was, * * Peace be with you. ' ' At their meals 
they broke the bread and passed the cup, 
and worshipped ** Jehovah''; but never 
made any sacrifice in the temple, but per- 
formed their ceremonies in their homes. 
They knew no higher virtue than to suffer 
and die for their belief. Accordingly, death 
did not terrify them, as they believed the 
spirit a prisoner in the body, to be released 
through death, then to return to the celes- 
tial glory. Deceit and profanity were con- 
sidered grave sins (as well as quarreling 
and vengeance), and looked upon with 

This Order, of which the present Free- 
masonry is the modem issue, was at the 

Preface 23 

time of Jesus widely diffused through Pal- 
estine and Egypt, and had their colonies 
scattered all over the country. They always 
kept up a congenial fraternal feeling in 
their meetings, and gave each other infor- 
mation about the affairs of the Brother- 
hood. They counted among their members 
men of all professions and stations in 
society, and although comprising a great 
many learned men and rich persons (who 
sometimes found it in their interest to keep 
this secret), they never excluded the poor 
nor persons in moderate circumstances. 

Thus we have all reasons to credit this 
letter, dictated by the love of truth, and 
written by a man who had been an eye- 
witness to most of the important transac- 
tions in the life and death of Jesus, who, 
as a member of their Order, was embraced 
by them with all the fraternal devotion of 
the Order. The Translator. 





A man of noble stature and of very 
beautiful countenance, in which such 
majesty resides that those who look on 
him are forced to admire him. 

His hair is of the color of a fully ripe 
chestnut, and from his ear down his shoul- 
ders it is of the color of the earth, but 
shining. It is parted in the middle of his 
forehead, after the maimer of the Naza- 

His forehead is smooth and very serene, 
his face free from wrinkle and spot, and 
with a slight color. 

The nostrils and lips cannot reasonably 
be found fault with. 


26 The Crucifixion 

The beard is thick, and, like the hair, not 
very long, and divided in the middle. 

There is a look of terror in his grave 
eyes. The eyes are like the rays of the 
sun, and it is impossible to look him stead- 
ily in the face on account of their brilliancy. 

When he reproves, he terrifies ; when he 
admonishes, he weeps. He makes himself 
loved, and is gravely cheerful. It is said 
that he was never seen to laugh, but he was 
seen to weep. 

His hands and arms are very beautiful. 

In conversation he is charming, but he 
seldom engages in it; and when he does 
converse, he is very modest of countenance. 

In presence he is the most beautiful man 
that could be seen or imagined; just like 
his mother, who is the most beautiful young 
person that was ever beheld in these parts. 

In learning he is an object of wonder to 
the entire city of Jerusalem. He never 
studied at all, and yet he knows all sciences. 

Description of Jesus 27 

He wears sandals, and goes bareheaded. 
Many laugh at seeing him ; but in his pres- 
ence, and when speaking to him, they fear 
and tremble. 

It is said that such a man was never 
seen or heard in these parts. In truth, as 
the Hebrews tell me, there never were 
heard such advices, such sublime doctrine 
as this Christ teaches; and many of the 
Jews hold him for divine, and they believe 
in him, while many others accuse him to me 
as being contrary to thy majesty. 

It is acknowledged that he has never 
done harm to any one, but good. All that 
know him and have had dealings with him, 
say that they have received from him bene- 
fits and health. 

The foregoing description is condensed 
from a letter written by Publius Lentulus, 
then Governor of Judea, to Tiberius CaBsar, 
Emperor of the Eomans. 







In the year seventeen of the Emperor 
Tiberius Caesar, and the 27th day of March, 
in the city of the holy Jerusalem — Annas 
and Caiaphas being priests, sacrificators of 
the people of God — Pontius Pilate, Gov- 
ernor of Lower Galilee, sitting in the presi- 
dential chair of the praetory, condemns 
Jesus of Nazareth to die on the Cross be- 
tween two thieves, the great and notorious 
evidence of the people saying : 

1. Jesus is a seducer. 

2. He is seditious. 

3. He is the enemy of the law. 


30 The Crucifixion 

4. He calls himself falsely the Son of 

5. He calls himself falsely king of Israel. 

6. He entered into the Temple followed 
by a multitude bearing palm-branches in 
their hands. 

Orders the first Centurion, Quilius Cor- 
nelius, to lead him to the place of execution. 

Forbids any person whomsoever, either 
poor or rich, to oppose the death of Jesus 

The witnesses who signed the condemna- 
tion of Jesus are : 

1. Daniel Eobani, a Pharisee. 

2. Joannus Eobani. 

3. Eaphael Eobani. 

4. Capet, a citizen. 

Jesus shall go out of the city of Jeru- 
salem by the gate of Struenus. 

The foregoing is engraved on a copper 
plate, on the reverse side of which is writ- 
ten: '* A similar plate is sent to each tribe." 

It was found in an antique marble vase, 

The Death Warrant 31 

while excavating in the ancient city of 
Aquila in the kingdom of Naples, in the 
year 1810, and was discovered by the Com- 
missioners of Arts of the French Army. 

At the expedition of Naples, it was en- 
closed in a box of ebony and preserved in 
the sacristy of the Chartem (Certosa). 

The French translation was made by the 
Commissioners of Arts. 

The original is in the Hebrew language. 




PEACE be with you dear brethren I 
You have heard of the things that 
have happened in Jerusalem and Palestine 
in general. You were right to believe Jesus 
to be our Brother and a member of our 
Order, of whom his friends among the Eo- 
mans and Jewish people relate, that he 
taught and wrought great wonders, and 
finally suffered the death of martyrs in 

He was born in Nazareth, by the entrance 
to the beautiful valley into which the river 
**Kisson" rushes down the steep declivi- 
ties of the Mount Tabor. He was put under 
the protection of the Order by a member 
of our Brotherhood, by whom his father 
and mother found a refuge on their flight 
to Egypt. There are, as you know, many 
of our brethren living on the borders of 

In fine, Jesus was admitted into the 


36 The Crucifixion 

Order at the same time with John in their 
years of early manhood. He lived then in 
Galilee and had just returned from a visit 
to Jerusalem, where he was watched by our 
Brotherhood. Jutha was the place of his 
initiation, close by the grand castle of Mas- 
seda, where the mountains raise their lofty 
peaks above the surrounding country. 

My dear Brethren, you may all have 
been convinced that he has been a member 
of our Order, as well by the doctrines he 
has taught the people, and his signs of rec- 
ognition, especially the baptism and the 
breaking of the bread and passing of the 
wine, as well as by his being baptized by 
one of our brethren, John, in Jordan, near 
the shore of the Dead Sea, in a westerly 
direction — for baptism, as you know, has 
been, since time immemorial, a sacred insti- 
tution in our Order. 

You wonder that the belief in the super- 
natural and miracles should gain foothold 
in our midst, when you know that we all 
have to bear the responsibility for the ac- 
tions of one of our members. 

The Letter 37 

Therefore, you ought to know that the 
rumor is like a wind. When it commences 
it drives the pure air far ahead, but in its 
progress it receives all vapors and mist 
from the earth, and when it has traveled 
some distance it creates darkness instead 
of the clear pure air of which it was at 
first composed, and at last consists solely 
of the particles it has received during its 

It is even so with the rumors concerning 
Jesus and his fate. 

Furthermore, remember that the in- 
spired men, who have written and spoken 
of him, were often carried away by the 
spirit of enthusiasm, and in their devotion 
and simplicity they believed all the things 
told them about him by the multitudes who 
were even more simple-minded and super- 
stitious than they. 

Bear ever in mind also that, in accord- 
ance with our rules, the secrets of our holy 
Brotherhood at all times remained un- 
known to these writers, and that only our 

88 The Crucifixion 

higher members had any knowledge about 
the secret assistance and protection Jesus 
received from us. 

And, finally, do not forget that our rigid 
laws prohibited us from interfering or 
taking any active part in the councils or 
plans of the rulers of the land. 

Therefore we have acted quietly and 
secretly, and have suffered the law to run 
its course; at the same time we secretly 
aided and assisted our friend in ways which 
did not infringe the law and our rules. 

Know then that Jesus was and is our 
* * Brother, ' ' and himself vowed, when he at 
Jutha was made an initiate of our Order, 
that our Brotherhood thenceforth should 
be to him as father and mother; and truly 
we have proved us so in the spirit and the 
letter of our law. 

I write this to you, my Brethren, in the 
truth and knowledge of our Brotherhood, 
that you may know and understand the 
truth concerning what has come to pass. 
I tell you only of the things I know, and I 

The Letter 39 

have seen it all with mine own eyes and 
have taken a deep interest and an active 
part in all these transactions. 
' Now, at the time that I write this to you, 
the Jews have seven times eaten of the 
lamb of the passover since our Brother was 
crucified, our Brother whom we all loved 
and in whom God was glorified. Neverthe- 
less I have forgotten none of the things 
I have lived to see come to pass. Indeed, 
as true as are the words that pass from 
my lips, and the thoughts that I write, as 
verily do I believe from the depths of my 
soul, that Jesus was chosen of God and 
begotten by the Eternal Spirit. He called 
himself the son of God, and he proved him- 
self to us by teaching in the name of God. 
He also lived a holy life, and was deeply 
learned in the secrets of all the kingdoms 
of nature. In all these things we of the 
secret Brotherhood acknowledge God; and 
the man among us who can say : * * Behold, 
I am of God,'' verily he is so ; for he that is 
not cannot say it, not having the word in 

40 The Crucifixion 

his heart, and not having learned it from 
the spirit. 

I will now tell you of the parentage of 
this man, who loved all men, and for whom 
we feel the highest esteem, that you may 
have full knowledge of him. 

He was from his infancy brought up 
for our Brotherhood. Indeed, he was pre- 
dicted by an ^^Esseer" whom the woman 
thought to be an angel. This woman was 
given to many imaginings, delving into the 
supernatural and into the mysteries of life, 
and she found deep interest and pleasure 
in the things she could not explain. 

Our Brother, the **Esseer," has acknowl- 
edged to us his part in these things, and 
has persuaded the Brotherhood secretly to 
search for and protect the child. 

And Joseph, who was a man of great 
experience in life, and deep devotion to the 
immortal truth, through a messenger of 
our Order was influenced not to leave the 
woman nor to disturb her faith in the 
sacredness of her experience, and to be a 

The Letter 41 

father to the child until our Brotherhood 
should admit him as a novice. 

Thus, during their flight to Egypt, 
Joseph was secretly protected and guided 
by our Order and conducted as a guest to 
the congregated Brotherhood by the Mount 
**Cassius,'' at the slope of the mount, on 
which the Eomans have built a temple dedi- 
cated to Jupiter. The **Esseers" who 
lived there were commissioned to intro- 
duce Joseph, his wife and the child into 
their congregation, that they might see our 
way of worshiping and praising God, **the 
Creator of all, ' ' and learn the ceremony of 
eating the consecrated bread and drinking 
the holy wine. 

At our request they informed our 
Brotherhood in Jerusalem how it all had 
been done. Joseph was placed among the 
half -circle of men on the right hand, and 
Mary, his wife, among the women on the 
left hand. There they, with our Brethren, 
ate the bread and drank the wine, and all 
together sang the holy hymns. 

42 The Crucifixion 

Further, Joseph here vowed before the 
elder of our Brotherhood, that he re- 
nounced forever any claim on the child who 
was thenceforth to belong to the Order. He 
was then made acquainted with the saluta- 
tion and sign of the holy Brotherhood, 
which would enable him during his travels 
to make himself known to these. They also 
directed him which route to take to arrive 
in safety. 

This route was through a part of the 
country where there lived many enlightened 
and learned Jews who were well versed in 
the Scriptures, and devoted to study. 
Among these our Order has many mem- 
bers. These were ordered to protect 
Joseph and be hospitable to him, even be- 
fore he arrived among them. This was in 
the beautiful country of Heliopolis with its 
splendid forests, and near unto the temple 
of Jehovah, erected by Onias. 

When the peril in Galilee was over and 
the Eoman ** Warns" was pillaging in 
Judea, making that country unsafe, Joseph 

The Letter 43 

went to Nazareth, which is situate near by 
the steep mount of Tabor. 

But soon Archelaus brought new terror 
over Galilee, and Joseph was persuaded by 
our brethren to go to Jerusalem — on his 
way passing *^Luhem'' — and there seek 
protection by our Brotherhood. This was 
duly accomplished, and at passover they 
arrived at ^^Nisan." 

Here I myself spoke with them. I was 
then in the lower degree of the Order, and 
in obedience to the command of the elder 
carried a message to Joseph. I found him 
to be a man of candor and wide experience 
who spoke with great judgment and wis- 
dom. Indeed, he exhorted Mary to describe 
distinctly the differences between reality 
and dreamy imagination, things as differ- 
ent as the day is from the night, and in- 
structed her how to quiet her mind through 
prayer and devotion. 

Her mind was filled with fiery imagin- 
ings that often lifted her thoughts to heav- 
enly things and made her indifferent to 

44 The Crucifixion 

tlie things of the earth. In consequence she 
strongly influenced the mind of her son to 
the study and contemplation of immortal 

Joseph commended her for her good 
influence over the child. He also instructed 
Jesus in knowledge and wisdom, and pro- 
tected his pure mind against the power of 
overstrained imagination. 

And when the child Jesus spoke with the 
scribes concerning holy things his doctrines 
gave deep offense to the Pharisees in Jeru- 
salem, in that they considered them dan- 
gerous and incredible. 

Inasmuch as the Pharisees held rigidly 
to the traditions and details of the law of 
Moses, they were deeply aggrieved against 
every one who did not believe with them, 
and who did not keep in outward form to 
the ceremonials of their temple service. 

They gave alms in the sight of the multi- 
tudes. They taught of ^HJie kingdom of the 
dead/' of the influence of good angels and 
evil spirits, and of the future grand eternal 

The Letter 45 

destiny of the Jewish people. Although 
they had many friends among the common 
people, and exercised great power and in- 
fluence with them; nevertheless, the Spirit 
of God dwelt neither in their houses nor on 
their tongues. 

But Joseph had come to be of our doc- 
trines, and without figures or mysteries he 
fixed them in the mind of the growing child. 
Indeed, the child thus early was touched 
by the miseries of the people, and they 
were enraptured to hear him teach the 
word of God. The Scribes knew him to be 
from Galilee, and they despised him as 
they despised the whole people of Galilee. 

But some of our brethren went to the 
temple, and without betraying themselves 
through our holy salutation, kept him in 
their midst, that they might thus protect 

When the divine child had spoken pub- 
licly, in the temple, then were our brothers 
apprehensive of the dangers that threat- 
ened him ; for they knew that the Pharisees 

46 The Crucifixion 

and the Eabbis were in private council 
fully determined to banish him from Gali- 
lee because of his doctrines. They there- 
fore lured him to the synagogue of 
Sopherim by manifesting to him an as- 
sumed interest in the law, for they per- 
ceived that in all his ardor and enthusiasm 
he was influenced by nothing else. 

Thus it came to pass that he was lost 
from his father and mother in the large 
city which then contained many people 
from the whole country, because of the 

Our friends, the Esseers, were informed 
of these things, and they saw that it was 
not safe nor wise for the child to remain 
longer among the Pharisees, as much more 
as a Rabbi, who had become a true friend 
and teacher to the child, no more could be 
present to moderate his zeal and ardor, 
contending as he was with the immoral 
hypocrites, as the Rabbi had gone on a 
journey to Jericho. 

Therefore we informed Joseph and his 

The Letter 47 

-wife, whom we found in double grief inas- 
much as they at the time also had been in- 
formed that the husband of Elizabeth, 
Mary's friend, had died. Thus, for three 
days Mary had been searching for her son, 
in deep sorrow, and at the same time she 
felt a strong desire to go and see her 
friend. At last, on the fourth day, she 
found her son at Sopherim, according to 
the information given her by our Brethren. 

And Nabbin, the Eabbi who had taken 
such deep interest in the child, was a secret 
member of our Order, and had received 
instructions to protect him. 

Thus it came to pass that Mary, her hus- 
band and her son returned to Jutha. 

Here she found her friend Elizabeth in 
great grief, with her son, whose name was 

Here the two youths were much together, 
and together they talked much about the 
sacred and the divine. Oft they wandered 
into the wildest parts of the mountain re- 
gions. They grew to be devoted friends, 

48 The Crucifixion 

and their attachment ripened into intimate 
acquaintance with each other in their 
search for truth. 

John, who was the son of Zacharias, had 
already received the doctrines of the Naza- 
renes as regards reservedness, and he knew 
perfectly the Scriptures and traditions, but 
comprehended not the beautiful and the 
exalted in this world, nor the laws of na- 
ture, as well as Jesus. He felt great dis- 
like for the customs of the heathens, and 
despised and hated all tyrants. 

And the time had come when Jesus 
should be admitted into the first degree of 
our Order. And in the valley our Order 
had a Brotherhood, situate near the moun- 
tain where the castle Masseda stands, and 
the elder of our Brotherhood met them 
there, and listened to their conversation. 

He taught them that wisdom and virtue 
are strengthened by fraternity ; whereupon 
Jesus, in a transport of great joy, asked 
that he might be prepared at once for ad- 
mittance into our holy Order. The exam- 

The Letter 49 

pie set by Jesus was followed by John, and 
the elder offered up a prayer which made 
Jesus a devotee of God. 

According to the rules of our Order, the 
elder now said : * * You shall be my breth- 
ren as soon as you, by the next new moon, 
shall see the glare of the fire on the moun- 
tain where the temple is built, and where 
you then will appear. He that is initiated 
into our Order must at the same time dedi- 
cate his life to the service of others. Tell 
your father Joseph that the time is now 
come for him to fulfil the vow he made at 
Mount Cassius/' 

The Esseer then departed. But when the 
child had returned to his home Joseph was 
already remembered of his vow and of his 
duties to our brethren. 

Joseph then, for the first time, made 
known to Jesus that he was not his father. 

Together they kept secret the admission 
of Jesus into our Brotherhood, for fear of 
the Gaulanites. 

At the appointed time they saw, in the 

50 The Crucifixion 

evening, the fire signal ascend from the 
mountain, whereupon they immediately set 
forth to journey thither. When they were 
arrived at the temple they were met by the 
white-robed messengers sent by the 

According to our rules, Jesus was 
initiated into our holy Order, after the fol- 
lowing manner : 

Both were instructed and shown the 
way to enter into the assemblage, where 
the brethren were seated in four separated 
groups, according to the four degrees. 
Over the scene the crescent shed its lurid 
glare. The two were placed before the 
brethren. There they made their vow, the 
brethren in their white robes placing their 
right hands upon their breasts, with the 
left hanging down at the side. And this 
was done as a token that none but the pure 
in heart shall see that which is sacred and 

And the two vowed indifference to the 
treasures of earth, to worldly power or 

The Letter 51 

name, and by the brotherly kiss they vowed 
obedience and secrecy. 

And, in obedience to our custom, when 
these two had made their vow they were 
conducted into the lonely cavern where, for 
three days and nights, they were subject to 
self-examination and trial. 

In the evening of the third day they were 
again brought before the assembled breth- 
ren to answer the questions put to them, 
and then to pray. 

Having received the brotherly kiss, they 
were clothed in white robes, emblems of 
sacred purity, and the trowel, emblematic 
of the labors of our Brotherhood, was put 
into their hands. 

Having sung the sacred hymns and pa;*- 
taken of the feast of love by themselves, 
according to the custom of our Order none 
of the brethren participating, they were 
dismissed. After this they were instructed 
concerning the trials and the disciplines 
through which they must pass — living in 
the loneliness of solitude, separate from 

52 The Crucifixion 

the world of mankind, for the period of one 
year, at a point near the elder of the Order 
from whom they should receive instruc- 
tions fitting them for advancement in the 
higher degrees of our Order. 

Both grew rapidly in divine knowledge. 
Jesus was frank and hearty of disposition, 
but John shrouded himself in stern serious- 
ness and solitude. 

When the year of trial and self-examina- 
tion was passed, they were again, under 
the new moon, admitted into the Order, 
this time as real members, and initiated 
into the higher science. 

When they had given a full account of 
their conduct during the preceding year, 
and acted in obedience to all the rules of 
the Order, and performed the ceremonies 
of singing and prayer and partaking of the 
feast of love, they were conducted to the 
secret chamber of worship, and there they 
were instructed and admonished to search 
the Scriptures. 

Inasmuch as the rules of our Order per- 

The Letter 53 

mit the admitted member either to remain 
with the Brotherhood in secret labor and 
fellowship, or go out into the world to 
teach or heal, according to his election, so 
Jesus chose to go forth teaching, while 
John chose to become a * * Terapeut, ' ' or 

Jesus felt himself called by the spirit 
of God, and longed to preach the doctrines 
of our Order to the people. 

Thus it came to pass that John returned 
to Jutha, to live in solitude in the wilder- 
ness, and Jesus returned to Nazareth. 

Here he proved gloriously his virtue, and 
fulfilled his vow to the Order. His friend 
Lazarus had a sister Mary, who loved 
Jesus; and he, in his heart, returned her 

But, according to the rules of our Order, 
an Esseer is not allowed to take unto him- 
self a wife, after his own desire, lest the 
sacred work be thereby retarded. 

And so it was that Jesus overcame his 
love for this woman by his dutiful devotion 

54 The Crucifixion 

to unselfish service of the Brotherhood. 
But the struggle was hard, and at the hour 
of their parting both Jesus and Mary wept 

I have informed you of all these things, 
my Brethren, that you shall indeed know 
that Jesus was our Brother, and belonged 
to our Holy Order. 

Thus all doubts and uncertainties on this 
matter must be ended. Jesus, our Brother, 
willingly suffered death that he might 
thereby glorify the doctrines of our Order ; 
and the greatest reward of our virtue is 
that we may, in like manner, be allowed to 
sacrifice ourselves for it. 

You have heard the accounts which the 
Jews and his disciples have given concern- 
ing him; that they have seen him in the 
mountains and on the road after they be- 
lieved him to be dead. 

The divine providence has given us a 
minute knowledge of these events that is 
hidden from the people, and it is our duty 
to inform you of the facts in reply to your 
questions relative thereto. 

The Letter 55 

Even as I write this, my eyes overflow 
with tears, and I seem to see our Brother 
in the midst of his torture and in the an- 
guish of death; and my afflicted mind is 
anew wounded by the recollection of his 
majestic courage and self-sacrifice. 

He was sent of God, chosen by the 
Almighty, beloved of us all, and inspired 
both in teaching and in the knowledge of 
nature and its elements. 

Hear then, my Brethren, what occurred 
in Jerusalem seven passovers ago. I have 
seen it all with my own eyes, and with my 
lips I have kept it a secret, that the world 
should not know it; for the Jews and the 
heathen believe only in the things they 
have seen with their eyes. And so they 
have no faith in God beyond that which 
they can conceive with their senses. 

Therefore, my dear Brethren, you 
should give praise to God that it has thus 
come to pass. We have kept these things 
a secret from the people, lest their belief 
in providence should be diminished. For 

56 The Crucifixion 

you know there are many pious and excel- 
lent men who have recorded and remem- 
bered the life and death of Jesus, but have 
them only from rumors, augmented and 
corrupted by superstition ; and from rever- 
ence and piety they believe what they hear 
of a beloved Master. 

It was even so with those, chosen from 
among the people, who were called disci- 
ples of Jesus. Most of them have heard 
the story of his life and death only through 
tradition, as it has been told from man ta 
man ; although there were others who were 
present ; but these have given no informa- 
tion concerning these important events. 

In secrecy I will now inform you of what 
I and our Brotherhood in Jerusalem have 
seen and witnessed ; and you know that an 
Esseer never permits aught to pass his lips 
save the strictest truth. Every man who 
has the gift of speech should magnify God, 
and give manifestation of him, even as God 
has given unto him a tongue in his mouth. 

We might indeed have saved our beloved 

The Letter 57 

Brother frora the vengeance of his ene- 
mies, if everything had not come to pass 
so quickly, and if our laws had not pro- 
hibited us from interfering in public 

Nevertheless, we have saved him in 
secret, as he fulfilled his divine mission in 
the sight of all the universe. Indeed, that 
a man die for his faith does not increase 
the glory of God ; but that he, full of devo- 
tion and divine confidence, suffer himself 
to be subjected to martyrdom for his 
faith; and this resolution, firmly fixed in 
mind, constitutes the fulfilment of our work 
in the sight of the world. 

Therefore, pay good heed to what I now 
tell you, that you may judge for yourselves 
of the rumors that have reached you hence 
and from Rome. 

[Here is a large vacant place in the 
document, caused by the destroying influ- 
ence of time, the deciphering of which is 
not possible from the still existing 

58 The Crucifixion 

The procession in which was the doomed 
Jesus and the two thieves, wound its way- 
out of the entrance to the valley that leads 
from Jerusalem to Golgotha, the place of 

The women cried loudly when they be- 
held Jesus almost sinking down under the 
weight of the cross, and his wounds, from 
the scourging he had undergone, bleeding 

Having arrived at the barren mountain 
ridge * ' Gileon, ' ' where nothing grows, and 
which lay on the north side, through which 
the lonely valley of death winds its way, 
they halted, and Jesus fell to the ground, 
his tortured body losing all its strength. 

Meanwhile the Eoman soldiers were 
selecting places for erecting the crosses. 
This done, they desired to prove their sym- 
pathy with the sufferers by giving to them 
a drink that made them unconscious, ac- 
cording to the custom before crucifixion. 
This drink was made from sour wine mixed 
with wormwood, and was called **Toska." 

The Letter 59 

But Jesus did not wish to die for his 
faith and the truth as a drunkard, where- 
fore he refused to drink of it, having knowl- 
edge, from our Order, of the qualities of 
the mixture, which he knew by testing it. 

And the crosses being erected, the time 
was now come when the punishment was 
to be inflicted on Jesus. The first cere- 
mony was to tear his clothes from his body. 
But in order that this might be done it was 
necessary to divest him of the soldier's 
mantle that he wore after the scourging, 
and put on him his own clothes, which 
latter were then torn off his body as the 
law requires. 

At the request of the servants of San- 
hedrim, the cross designed for Jesus was 
placed in the middle, between those for the 
two thieves, thereby denoting that his was 
the greatest crime. They had even dis- 
tinguished his cross from the others, for 
although they commonly were constructed 
in such a manner that the perpendicular 
beam did not reach above the cross-beam. 

60 The Crucifixion 

his was of different form, the perpendicu- 
lar beam reaching far above the cross- 

They then laid hold of Jesus, and, lifting 
him up, placed him on the short stake which 
is always put in front of each cross, that 
the body of the criminal may rest there 
while being tied. They tied the arms as 
usual with strong cords, and so tightly that 
all the blood went back to the heart, and 
breathing was thereby made difficult. 

In the same manner they tied his feet, 
and wound half way up his legs strong 
cords which also drove the circulating 
blood back to the heart. 

After this they drove through his hands 
thick iron nails, but none through his feet, 
for this was not customary. I note this 
particularly, my dear Brethren, inasmuch 
as it has been rumored that he was nailed 
through both his hands and his feet. 

Thus the just hung, exposed to untold 
sufferings, in the heat of the sun, which 
on that day was extreme and fatiguing, 

The Letter 61 

while the soldiers took possession of his 
clothes, according to the custom. The cloak 
they cut into four parts ; but the tunic was 
woven, and could not be torn asunder, 
wherefore they cast lots for it. 

After the noonday, when the sun had 
turned, there came throngs of people from 
the city, drawn thither by curiosity; and 
there were several priests present, gloating 
over their sinful vengeance. They derided 
him, bowed down as he was with grief and 
pain, and exhorted the people to mock him. 

Jesus suffered quietly, directing his gaze 
to the sky. He heard not the women of his 
tribe from Galilee, who were standing some 
distance away wringing their hands and 
lamenting his, as they thought, untimely 

These sounds of anguish and lamenta- 
tion were drowned by the noise of horse- 
men advancing to the scene. This was the 
high-priest * * Caiaphas ' ' with a large escort 
of servants, who came to mock and deride 
the crucified son of God. And even one of 

62 The Crucifixion 

the crucified thieves joined with them in 
deriding him, for he had secretly hoped 
that Jesus would have delivered both him- 
self and them through a miracle. 

Now the Romans, in derision of the Jews, 
had fixed a tablet or plate on the cross, over 
his head, whereon in four different lan- 
guages they designated him ^^King of the 
Jews/' This deeply angered the priests, 
but, inasmuch as they feared Pilate, they 
exhausted their wrath by mocking Jesus. 

Darkness descended over the earth, and 
the people returned to Jerusalem. But 
Jesus' disciples, his friends and the elders 
of our holy Order remained on Golgotha, 
our Order having near by a colony for wor- 
ship and for partaking of our feast of love. 

And Jesus recognized his mother among 
the weeping women from Galilee, standing 
close by the silent John (the Evangelist). 
Jesus called out loudly, in the anguish of 
his pain, citing the twenty-second Psalm, 
praying God thereby to deliver him from 
his sufferings. 

The Letter 63 

There were still a few Pharisees remain- 
ing on the mountain, who intended mock- 
ing him, because they had expected and 
hoped that Jesus would descend from the 
cross, **the worldly savior of the people"; 
and as this had not come to pass, they felt 
themselves deceived and were therefore 

The heat grew steadily more intense, 
more unendurable, and a fire was forming 
in the earth and air, such as is essential 
to the purification of the elements. The 
Esseer brethren, through their knowledge 
of nature and its elements, knew that an 
earthquake was coming, as had formerly 
occurred in the days of our forefathers. 

As the night approached the earth began 
a terrible shaking, and the Eoman Centu- 
rion became so terrified that he prayed to 
his heathen gods. He believed that Jesus 
was beloved by the gods. Most of the 
frightened people hastily departed from 
the place and returned to Jerusalem; and 
the Centurion, who was a noble man of 

64 The Crucifixion 

compassionate nature, permitted John to 
conduct the mother of Jesus close to the 

Jesus was consumed with thirst. His 
lips were parched and dry, and the pain 
was burning in his limbs. A soldier put 
a sponge dipped in vinegar on a long cane 
of hyssop, and from this Jesus quenched 
his thirst. 

As he recommended his mother to the 
care of John, it was growing darker, 
although the full moon should have been 
shining in the heavens. From the Dead 
Sea was observed to rise a thick, reddish 
fog. The mountain ridges round about 
Jerusalem shook violently, and the head 
of Jesus sank down upon his breast. 

When he uttered his last groan of an- 
guish and pain, and passed away, a hiss- 
ing sound was heard in the air; and they 
of the Jews that still remained were seized 
by a great fear, for they believed that the 
evil spirits who dwell between heaven and 
earth were proceeding to punish the people. 

The Letter 65 

It was that strange and unusual sound in 
the air that precedes an earthquake. 

Soon the mountain began to shake, the 
surrounding country and the city com- 
menced to rock, and the thick walls of 
the temple gave way until the veil in the 
temple parted and fell from its place. Even 
the rocks burst asunder, and the hewn 
sepulchres in the rock were destroyed, as 
were also many of the corpses kept therein. 

And as the Jews regarded all this as ex- 
tremely supernatural, so the Roman Cen- 
turion believed now in the divinity and 
innocence of Christ, and comforted his 

Although our brethren did not dare to 
tell the people, as it is a secret with us, 
nevertheless they well knew the cause of 
this phenomenon of nature, and believed in 
their Brother without ascribing to him 
supernatural powers. 

Dear Brethren, you have reproached us, 
in that we did not save our Friend from the 
cross by secret means. But I need only to 

66 The Crucifixion 

remind you that the sacred law of our 
Order prohibits us from proceeding pub- 
licly, and from interfering in matters of 
state. Moreover, two of our Brethren, in- 
fluential and experienced, did use all their 
influence with Pilate and the Jewish coun- 
cil in behalf of Jesus, but their efforts were 
frustrated in that Jesus himself requested 
that he might be permitted to suffer death 
for his faith, and thus fulfil the law; for, 
as you know, to die for truth and virtue 
is the greatest sacrifice a Brother can 

There was a certain Joseph, from Ari- 
mathea. He was rich, and being a member 
of the council, he was much esteemed by the 
people. He was a prudent man, and whilst 
he did not appear to belong to any party, 
he was secretly a member of our sacred 
Order and lived in accordance with our 
laws. His friend Nicodemus was a most 
learned man, and belonged to the highest 
degree of our Order. He knew the secrets 
of the ''Terapeuts," and was often to- 
gether with us. 

The Letter 67 

Now it so happened that after the earth- 
quake, and many of the people had gone 
away, Joseph and Nicodemus arrived at 
the cross. They were informed of the death 
of the crucified, in the garden of our Breth- 
ren, not far from Calvary. 

Although they loudly lamented his fate, 
it nevertheless appeared strange to them 
that Jesus, having hung less than seven 
hours, should already be dead. They could 
not believe it, and hastily went up to the 
place. There they found John alone, he 
having determined to see what became of 
the beloved body. 

Joseph and Nicodemus examined the 
body of Jesus, and Nicodemus, greatly 
moved, drew Joseph aside and said to him : 
*^As sure as is my knowledge of life and 
nature, so sure is it possible to save him." 

But Joseph did not understand him, and 
he admonished us that we should not tell 
John of what we had heard. Indeed, it was 
a secret which was to save our Brother 
from death. 

68 The Crucifixion 

Nicodemus shouted: ^*We must imme- 
diately have the body with its bones un- 
broken, because he may still be saved"; 
then, realizing his want of caution, he con- 
tinued in a whisper, ** saved from being 
infamously buried. ' ' 

He persuaded Joseph to disregard his 
own interest, that he might save their 
Friend by going immediately to Pilatus, 
and prevailing upon him to permit them 
to take Jesus' body from the cross that 
very night and put it in the sepulchre, hewn 
in the rock close by, and which belonged to 

I, understanding what he meant, re- 
mained with John to watch the cross and 
prevent the soldiers from breaking the 
bones of Jesus. 

No corpse is allowed to remain on the 
cross over night, and the next day being 
Sunday, they would now take him down 
and bury him early. 

The Jewish council had already demand- 
ed of Pilate an order to the soldiers to 

The Letter 69 

break the bones of the crucified, that they 
might be buried. 

Soon after Joseph and Nicodemus had 
departed, each one on his sacred mission, a 
messenger arrived bringing the order to 
the Centurion to take down the corpses and 
bury them. I myself was greatly agitated 
by this information, for I knew if he were 
not handled with great care he could not be 
saved, and still less if his bones were to be 

Even John was dismayed, though not 
from fear of the plans being frustrated, for 
of these he did not know ; but he was deeply 
grieved at the thought of seeing the body 
of his friend mutilated. For John believed 
that Jesus was dead. 

As the messenger arrived I hastened to 
him, thinking and hoping that Joseph al- 
ready might have seen Pilate, a thing of 
which there in reality was no possibility. 

*^Does Pilate send youT' I asked of him. 

And he answered, **I come not from 
Pilate, but from his Secretary, who acts for 

70 The Crucifixion 

the governor in such unimportant mat- 
ters. ' ' 

The Centurion, observing my anxiety, 
looked at me, and in the manner of a friend 
I said to him: **You have seen that this 
man that is crucified is an uncommon man. 
Do not maltreat him, for a rich man among 
the people is now with Pilate to 
offer him money for the corpse, that he 
may give it decent burial." 

My dear Brethren, I must here inform 
you that Pilate often did sell the bodies 
of the crucified to their friends, that they 
might thus bury them. 

And the Centurion was friendly to me, 
inasmuch as he had conceived from the 
events that Jesus was an innocent man. 
And therefore, when the two thieves were 
beaten by the soldiers with heavy clubs and 
their bones broken, the Centurion went 
past the cross of Jesus, saying to the sol- 
diers: *^Do not break his bones, for he is 

And a man was seen rapidly approach- 

The Letter 71 

ing along the road from the castle of An- 
tonia to Calvary. He advanced to the 
Centurion and brought to him the order 
that he should quickly come to Pilate. 

The Centurion then questioned the mes- 
senger to learn what Pilate wanted of him 
at so late an hour of the night. The mes- 
senger answered, that Pilate desired to 
know if Jesus was indeed dead. 

**So he is/' said the Centurion; *^ there- 
fore we have not broken his bones. ' ' 

To be the more sure of it, *one of the sol- 
diers stuck his spear into the body in such 
manner that it passed over the hip and into 
the side. The body showed no convulsions, 
and this was taken by the Centurion as a 
sure sign that he actually was dead; and 
he hurriedly went away to make his report. 

But from the insignificant wound flowed 
blood and water, at which John wondered, 
and my own hope revived. For even John 
knew, from the knowledge of our Brother- 
hood, that from a wound in a dead body 
flows nothing but a few drops of thickened 

72 The Crucifixion 

blood ; but now there flowed both water and 

I was deeply anxious that Joseph and 
Nicodemus should return. At last some 
Galilean women were seen approaching on 
their return from Bethania, whither they 
had brought Mary, the mother of Jesus, in 
the care of the Esseer friends. 

And among the women was also Mary, 
the sister of Lazarus, who had loved Jesus, 
and she wept loudly. But before she could 
pour out her grief, and while John was 
gazing intently at the wound in Jesus ' side, 
heeding naught else, Joseph and Nicode- 
mus returned in great haste. Joseph 
through his dignity had moved Pilate, and 
Pilate, having received information as to 
the death of the crucified, gave the body to 
Joseph, and without taking pay therefor. 

For Pilate had a great reverence for 
Joseph, and secretly repented of the execu- 
tion. A¥hen Nicodemus saw the wound, 
flowing with water and blood, his eyes were 
animated with new hope, and he spoke en- 

The Letter 73 

couragingly, foreseeing what was to 

He drew Joseph aside to where I stood, 
some distance from John, and spoke in a 
low, hurried tone: **Dear friends, be of 
good cheer, and let us to work. Jesus is 
not dead. He seems so only because his 
strength is gone. ' ' 

** While Joseph was with Pilate I hur- 
ried over to our colony and fetched the 
herbs that are useful in such cases. But I 
admonish you that you tell not John that 
we hope to reanimate the body of Jesus, 
lest he could not conceal his great joy. 
And dangerous indeed would it be if the 
people should come to know it, for our 
enemies would then put us all to death with 

After this they hurried to the cross, and, 
according to the prescriptions of the medi- 
cal art, they slowly untied his bonds, drew 
the spikes out from his hands, and with 
great care laid him on the ground. 

Thereupon, Nicodemus spread strong 

74 The Crucifixion 

spices and healing salves on long pieces of 
**byssus'' which he had brought, and whose 
use was known only in our Order. 

These he wound about Jesus ' body, pre- 
tending that he did so to keep the body 
from decaying until after the feast, when 
he would then embalm it. 

These spices and salves had great heal- 
ing powers, and were used by our Esseer 
Brethren who knew the rules of medical 
science for the restoration to consciousness 
of those in a state of death-like fainting. 
And even as Joseph and Nicodemus were 
bending over his face and their tears fell 
upon him, they blew into him their own 
breath, and warmed his temples. 

Still Joseph was doubtful of his recovery 
to life, but Nicodemus encouraged him to 
increase their efforts. Nicodemus spread 
balsam in both the nail-pierced hands, but 
he believed that it was not best to close up 
the wound in Jesus' side, because he con- 
sidered the flow of blood and water there- 
from helpful to respiration and beneficial 
in the renewing of life. 

The Letter 75 

In the midst of his grief and sorrow, 
John did not believe that life would return 
to the body of his friend, and he did not 
hope to see him again until they should 
meet in ^ * School. ' ' 

The body was then laid in the sepulchre 
made in the rocks, which belonged to 
Joseph. They then smoked the grotto 
with aloe and other strengthening herbs, 
and while the body lay upon the bed of 
moss, still stiff and inanimate, they placed 
a large stone in front of the entrance, 
that the vapors might better fill the grotto. 

This done, John, with some others, went 
to Bethania, to comfort his grief-stricken 

But Caiaphas, although it was the Sab- 
bath day, had sent out his secret spies. He 
was anxious to know who were the secret 
friends of Jesus. His suspicions had fallen 
upon Pilate because of his having given 
Joseph of Arimathea the body without any 
pay, he being rich, a Eabbi and member 
of the high council, who never had ap- 
peared to take any interest in the case of 

76 The Crucifixion 

Jesus previously, but who now had given 
his own place of burial for the crucified. 

And so it was that Caiaphas anticipated 
secret plans between the rich Joseph and 
the Galileans, and knowing that they in- 
tended to embalm the body, he hoped there 
to catch them, as the idea had occurred to 
him that Joseph and Pilate were plotting 
against the Jews. 

Fear of this caused him great anxiety, 
and for this reason he hoped to discover 
some secret means of accusing Joseph and 
having him thrown into prison. He be- 
trayed this fact himself by sending late in 
the night a number of his armed servants 
to an obscure valley close by the grotto in 
which lay the body of Jesus. Some dis- 
tance from them was stationed a detach- 
ment of the temple guard, to assist the 
servants of the high-priest, if necessary. 

But the rumor has told you that this 
guard were Roman soldiers, which was not 
the case. The high-priost even distrusted 

The Letter 77 

Meanwhile Nicodemus had hastened 
with me to our brethren, and the oldest 
and wisest came to confer as to the best 
means of restoring Jesus to life. And the 
brethren agreed immediately to send a 
guard to the grove. Joseph and Nicode- 
mus hurried to the city, there to fulfil their 
further mission. 

After midnight, and towards morning, 
the earth again commenced to shake, and 
the air became very oppressive. The rocks 
shook and cracked. Ked flames burst forth 
from the crevices, illuminating the red 
mists of the morning. 

This was, indeed, a dreadful night. 
Beasts, horrified by the earthquake, ran 
howling and crying in every direction. 
Through the narrow opening the little lamp 
in the grotto threw trembling shadows into 
the horrible night, and the servants of 
the high-priest were full of fear, listening 
to the hissing in the air and the roaring 
and rumbling in the earth. 

One of our brethren went to the grave, 

78 The Crucifixion 

in obedience to the order of the Brother- 
hood, dressed in the white robe of the 
fourth degree. He went by way of a secret 
path which ran through the mountain to 
the grave, and which was known only to 
the Order. 

• When the timid servants of the high- 
priest saw the white-robed Brother on the 
mountain slowly approaching, and partial- 
ly obscured by the morning mist, they were 
seized with a great fear, and they thought 
that an angel was descending from the 

When this Brother arrived at the grave 
which he was to guard, he rested on the 
stone which he had pulled from the en- 
trance according to his orders ; whereupon 
the soldiers fled and spread the report that 
an angel had driven them away. 

When the Esseer youth had set himself 
down upon the stone, there came a new 
earth-shock, and a draft of air passing 
down the grotto blew out the lamp and 
gave place for the morning light. 

The Letter 79 

Thirty hours had now passed since the 
assumed death of Jesus. And when the 
Brother, having heard a slight noise within 
the grotto, went in to observe what had 
happened, he smelled a strange odor in the 
air, such as often occurs when the earth is 
about to vomit forth fire. 

And the youth observed with inexpressi- 
ble joy that the lips of the body moved, and 
that it breathed. He at once hastened to 
Jesus to assist him, and heard slight 
sounds rising from his breast. The face 
assumed a living appearance, and the eyes 
opened and in astonishment gazed at the 
novice of our Order. 

This occurred just as I was leaving with 
the brethren of the first degree, from the 
council, with Joseph, who had come to con- 
sult how to bring help. 

Nicodemus, who was an experienced phy- 
sician, said, on the way, that the peculiar 
condition of the atmosphere caused by the 
revolution of the elements was beneficial to 
Jesus, and that he never had believed that 

80 The Crucifixion 

Jesus really was dead. And he further 
said that the blood and water which flowed 
from the wound was a sure sign that life 
was not extinct. 

Conversing thus, we arrived at the grot- 
to, Joseph and Nicodemus going before. 
We were in all twenty-four brethren of the 
first degree. 

Entering, we perceived the white-robed 
novice kneeling upon the moss-strewn 
floor of the grotto, supporting the head of 
the revived Jesus on his breast. 

And as Jesus recognized his Esseer 
friends, his eyes sparkled with joy; his 
cheeks were tinted with a faint red, and he 
sat up, asking: *^ Where am If 

Then Joseph embraced him, folded him 
in his arms, told him how it all had come 
to pass, and how he was saved from actual 
death by a profound fainting fit, which the 
soldiers on Calvary had thought was death. 

And Jesus wondered, and felt on him- 
self; and, praising God, he wept on the 
breast of Joseph. Then Nicodemus urged 


The Letter 81 

his friend to take some refreshments, and 
he ate some dates and some bread dipped 
in honey. And Nicodemus gave wine to 
drink, after which Jesus was greatly re- 
freshed, so that he raised himself up. 

Then it was that he became conscious of 
the wounds in his hands and in his side. 
But the balsam which Nicodemus had 
spread upon them had a soothing effect, 
and they had already commenced to heal. 

After the *^byssus'' wrappings had been 
taken off and the muckender was removed 
from his head, Joseph spoke and said; 
**This is not a place in which to remain 
longer, for here the enemies might easily 
discover our secret, and betray us.'' 

But Jesus was not yet strong enough to 
walk far, wherefore he was conducted to 
the house belonging to our Order, that is 
close by Calvary, in the garden, which also 
belongs to our brethren. 

Another young Brother of our Order 
was dispatched at once to assist the novice 
who had been watching by the grave of 


82 The Crucifixion 

Jesus, to annihilate every trace of the 
byssus wrappings and the medicines and 
drugs used. 

When Jesus arrived at the house of our 
brethren he was faint and weak. His 
wounds had begun to cause him pain. He 
was much moved, in that he considered it 
all as a miracle. 

' * God has let me rise, ' ' he said, ^ * that he 
may prove in me that which I have taught, 
and I will show my disciples that I do live. ' ' 

And after a little while the two young 
men who had gone to put the grave in 
order, came hurriedly back and brought 
the message that the friends of Jesus soon 
would come to seek him. 

And they related how they had heard a 
noise, when at work in the grotto, as of 
many people coming to the fence that sur- 
rounds the garden. When they had retired 
yet further into the grotto, there came a 
woman on the road from Jerusalem, and 
when she saw that the stone had been 
rolled away from the grave she manifested 

The Letter 83 

great fear. She thought that something 
had happened to the body, and hurried 
away to Bethlehem. 

But soon thereafter other women came 
from Jerusalem, and approached the 
grave. Wondering greatly, they had en- 
tered the grave, and one of them, on look- 
ing for the body in the place where it had 
lain, beheld our Brother, and in terror 
pointed him out to her companions. When 
the other Brother also came in view, the 
women fell upon their faces, and thought 
they had beheld angels. 

And the brethren spoke to them as they 
had been ordered by those of the first de- 
gree, and one of them said to the women : 
** Jesus is risen. Do not look for him here. 
Say to his disciples that they will find him 
in Galilee." And the other told them to 
gather the disciples and conduct them to 

This was devised by the wisdom of Jo- 
seph, for he would not that they should 
look for Jesus at Jerusalem, for his safe- 

84 The Crucifixion 

ty's sake. And the brethren went out of 
the cavern by the rear entrance, and ob- 
served that some of the women hastened 
on the road to Bethania, whereupon the 
young Brothers hurried to us in the house 
to tell us of what had come to pass. 

Thus the Esseer friends pleaded with 
Jesus to remain in concealment, for his 
safety's sake, and to recover his strength. 
But Jesus was moved by a great desire to 
prove to his friends that he still lived. Im- 
pelled by this desire, and feeling himself 
refreshed and strengthened, he asked for 
clothes, that he might go forth among his 
friends. He was immediately clothed in 
the Esseer working-garb, such as our 
brethren wear when at work. In this dress 
he appeared as a gardener. 

In the meantime the two young Brothers 
had gone again to the grave, as their work 
there was not yet completed. While there 
they saw the same woman return who came 
first to the grave, as John and Peter mean- 
while had made known among the disciples 
what had come to pass. 

The Letter 85 

This woman, thus returning to the grave, 
thought the two novices were angels guard- 
ing the empty grave, and she wept. 

One of the novices, of kindly disposition, 
in a gentle and soothing voice spoke to the 
woman and asked her why she wept. This 
woman was Mary, whom Jesus had loved 
and had been obliged to leave in accordance 
with the laws of our holy Brotherhood. 

And as she was lamenting that Jesus did 
not lie where he had been placed before the 
Sabbath, Jesus stood behind her, dressed in 
the garb of a gardener. 

Animated by the desire to see again those 
he loved, and to proclaim to them that he 
still lived, he had disregarded the advice 
of the brethren that he remain in conceal- 
ment, and, leaving the house, he had taken 
the path through the garden to the rock 
where the grave was hewn. 

When Mary saw him she thought him to 
be the gardener. But Jesus knew her, and 
rejoicing in her love he spoke to her. Still, 
in his weak and suffering condition, she did 

86 The Crucifixion 

not know him. But when he exclaimed, ' * 
Mary!" she knew him and longed to kiss 
his feet and thereafter embrace him. 

But Jesus, feeling the pain in his hands 
and side, feared to embrace her lest he 
might thereby injure his wounds. He there- 
fore moved back from her as she ap- 
proached, and said : 

* * Touch me not. Though I still live, yet 
soon shall I go to my Father in heaven ; for 
my body is become feeble and soon shall be 
dissolved, that my death may be fulfilled.'' 

As the woman knelt down, and with great 
excitement fixed her eyes upon him, Jesus 
heard the sound of approaching footsteps, 
and, careful for his safety, hastened back, 
placing himself behind the garden wall not 
far from the garden of our friends. 

And the two youths who were charged to 
guard the grave, and who had been in- 
structed to thwart the enemies' spies who 
were seeking to find Jesus, had seen and 
heard all this. 

Meanwhile Joseph, Nicodemus and the 

The Letter 87 

other brethren had come from the house 
into the garden to look after Jesus and take 
due care that he was not in peril because of 
his great weakness. This Nicodemus feared 
inasmuch as he had seen that the wounds 
were more inflamed and the flesh where the 
strong cords had been was now dark of 

When we had arrived at the entrance of 
the garden we beheld Jesus standing behind 
the wall and resting against it as if he could 
go no further. 

It was about this time that John hastened 
from the city, and looking into the grotto 
had found it vacant. For the two youths 
had made their way to our garden through 
the secret entrance to the grotto. 

Peter also arrived, and both together 
searched throughout the grotto for signs of 
the body. Entering the inner part of the 
grotto they found the muckender where the 
novices had thrown it, whence they had fled 
at the arrival of these two strange persons. 

In earnest conversation the two disciples 
hurried back into the city. 

88 The Crucifixion 

And Jesus had slowly walked along the 
wall until he had reached the little gate that 
opens to the valley of Mount ^^Grihon." 
There he listened to the conversation of 
some women outside the wall. When he 
came forth and the women had beheld him 
they believed that they had seen an appari- 
tion. But Jesus spoke to them in order that 
they might know that it was indeed him- 

And inasmuch as the youth in the grove 
had said to the women that in Galileo they 
should see him, one of them rememjered 
this and said to him : ' * Lord, shall we obey 
the word of the angel, and see thee again 
in Galilee r' 

This question astonished Jesus, for he 
did not know that the brethren had in- 
structed the novice to mention that part of 
the country. But after consideration he an- 
swered her and said: ''Yes, inform my 
friends and tell them that I go to Galilee 
and there you shall see me." 

His weakness being increased, he desired 

The Letter 89 

to be left alone, and the women departed. 
And then it was that we, his secret protect- 
ors, went to him and conducted him back 
to the house that he might there rest and 
be refreshed. 

Nicodemus again tied up his wounds, 
gave him a medical draught and admon- 
ished him to rest himself in quiet. But 
Jesus feared not death, and was buoyant of 
spirit. Nevertheless his strength was gone, 
and he soon fell into a profound sleep, 
whereupon Joseph, Nicodemus and the 
brethren counseled together as to how they 
might care for his safety. For this pur- 
pose they sent some of the brethren into 
the city that they might learn the rumors 
of Jesus among the people. 

And strangely the rumors had told of 
many miracles in the city. The fleeing 
guards having tried to conceal their cow- 
ardly fear, had circulated reports of terri- 
ble events that had come to pass, and of 
spirits that had burst open the grave. 

And the high-priest had been told of 

90 The Crucifixion 

these things, and he knew not what to 
think. He feared lest the miracle would 
excite the people, for the women, and even 
the men, had been too excited thereby to 
keep it a secret, and the people already 
were busy discussing the subject. 

Therefore, Caiaphas gave the guard 
money, that they should report that his 
friends had stolen the corpse, that they 
(the disciples) might say he was risen, and 
thus delude the people. 

And all day Jesus remained in his pro- 
found slumber, and was thereby filled with 
renewed life. It was evening when he 
awakened. His wounds were now less pain- 
ful, inasmuch as the balsam which Nico- 
demus applied had produced a soothing ef- 
fect. He was in good spirit, and with 
thankful heart he saw that his friends 
watched over him. Without assistance he 
rose from his couch, and, being hungry, 
asked that he might have food. 

Having refreshed himself, he said: 
*^Now that I am strong again it behooves 

The Letter 91 

me that I no longer remain in concealment. 
For a teacher should be among his people, 
and a son embrace his mother.'' 

Joseph answered him and said: *^The 
Brotherhood is father and mother to thee 
now, according to its promise to thee, and 
it is therefore the duty of the Brotherhood 
to protect thee as its beloved child. ' ' 

And Jesus said: *^I fear not death, for 
I have fulfilled it, and the enemies shall 
acknowledge that God has saved me, and 
wills not that I die eternally." 

Then one of the elders of the Brother- 
hood said: **Thou art not safe in this 
country, for they will search after thee. 
Do not, therefore, go any more among the 
people to teach, for what thou hast taught 
will live among thy friends forever, and 
thy disciples will publish it to the world. 
Eemain, I pray thee, dead to the world. 
The Brotherhood has brought thee back to 
life through its secrets, therefore live 
henceforth for our holy Order to which 
thou art bound. Live in the seclusion of 

92 The Crucifixion 

wisdom and virtue, unknown to the world. 
"We will secretly teach and assist the dis- 
ciples among the people, and they shall re- 
ceive encouragement and help from the 
holy Brotherhood. And if the time shall 
come when thou shouldst again go out 
among the people, we will send for thee 
and inform thee.'' 

But Jesus, in the ardor of his sacred en- 
thusiasm, said : * * The voice of God is more 
powerful within me than is the fear of 
death. I will see my disciples once more, 
and will go to Galilee. ' ' 

Then the elder said: **Be it so, as God 
has called you; but it behooves men that 
they be wise and cautious in good things. 
Therefore, some of our brethren shall go 
with thee, and protect thee through the 
power of our connections in Galilee." 

But Nicodemus did not approve of this 
journey, for he knew that the body of Je- 
sus was weakened, though his soul was 
strong in its courage. And the faithful 
physician therefore entreated him not to 

The Letter 93 

go lest he thereby make impossible his re- 

But Jesus answered: **Be it fulfilled 
that is to be." And Joseph wondered 
greatly at the spirit of Jesus, and more 
than ever believed in his great promises. 

When evening had come Jesus started on 
his journey, and he wished to go alone. 
It being cold, the brethren gave him a warm 
mantle in which he wrapped himself that 
the officers of the city might not recognize 

And the brethren admonished him to 
stop only with the Esseer friends, and be- 
cause of the feast not to travel on the high- 
way. Therefore Jesus was persuaded to 
go by the way of Bethania and the Ephra- 
imitical mountain, where Samaria borders 
on upper Galilee to the north. 

Jesus went forth upon his journey, and 
when he was gone the brethren blessed his 
undertaking; but, advised by Joseph, they 
sent a novice to follow him and on the way 
secretly inform the Esseer friends. 

94 The Crucifixion 

Of all that has come to pass our friends 
have kept us fully informed. 

While Jesus was journeying on the road 
to Emmaus, a few hours ' travel hence, his 
soul was filled with inspirations over the 
new life, and he spoke in a loud voice, so 
that our messenger could hear that it was 
of the prophecies of Daniel he was speak- 

Two men were traveling the same road 
from Jerusalem, and as they walked more 
rapidly than Jesus, they soon overtook him. 

Jesus said to them: ^* Peace be with 
you." At first he believed them to be Es- 
seer friends, but soon thereafter he rec- 
ognized them as two of his own friends 
from among the people, who often had 
heard him teach. They gave no heed to 
the quiet traveler. But he heard them 
speak of his death, and of the deep de- 
spair of his disciples. And from their 
words he conceived that his doctrine and 
his teachings were in danger of being de- 
stroyed and lost, by reason of the despair 

The Letter 95 

of his friends, who were without a leader 
to keep them from being scattered. 

When one of these travelers lamented 
that the prophecy had not been fulfilled 
and that Jesus had not risen from the dead, 
Jesus spoke with ardor, and the two dis- 
ciples were greatly interested in what he 
said, for it appeared to them that they 
had heard the same teachings before. 

At the place in their journey where the 
two disciples stopped they detained Jesus 
when he desired to go farther on alone and 
in the night time. And at the common 
feast of love, in the house where they had 
stopped, the two disciples recognized Je- 
sus; but he did not wish to be known in 
this place. He therefore, unobserved, 
passed out through the door and went to 
the house of the Esseer friend to whom 
he had been recommended. 

Meanwhile the two disciples retraced 
their steps to Jerusalem to carry to their 
friends there the news of the risen one. 
Here they found Peter, and with him John. 

96 The Crucifixion 

But the Esseer friends met together and 
counseled what they were further to do. 
There was with them also the youth that 
our Order had sent to follow Jesus. 

And Jesus conceived that he immediately 
must return to Jerusalem to reanimate the 
hope of his friends and correct the report 
given out by the two disciples who so hur- 
riedly had returned to Jerusalem. 

The Esseer friend gave him a beast of 
burden that he might mount and thus 
travel the more easily, and the novice whom 
we had sent accompanied him and walked 
by the side of the animal. 

And thus it came to pass that, soon after 
the arrival of the disciples, Jesus came to 
the well-known home where our friends 
used to meet together. Jesus gave the 
sign by which the bar fell from the door 
by the hand of the doorkeeper, for the dis- 
ciples were then in secret council. 

When Jesus heard how his followers 
spoke of his resurrection, and were consid- 
ering if it were possible, he came forward 

The Letter 97 

among them, and as they did not know him 
at first, they were alarmed, not knowing 
that the door had been opened. 

But Jesus spoke to them, comforted 
them, and proved to them that he was 
really flesh and .bones. Thereupon they 
joyously surrounded him, touched his 
hands, and Jesus leaned upon the breast 
of John, being faint from the fatigue of 
the journey. 

After he had rested Jesus still more fully 
proved to his friends that he lived as do 
other people, by asking for food. Inas- 
much as the friends had already eaten, 
there was left some bread, honey and fish, 
of which he ate and refreshed himself. 

Thereupon he admonished them that they 
fulfil the work he had undertaken and not 
give up but be of good cheer. And he 
blessed them and said to them that he could 
not disclose to them where he should go, 
and that he should go alone, but that when 
they should want him he would come to 
them, for he yet had much to say to them. 

98 The Crucifixion 

Outside the door the novice was waiting 
with the animal, and when Jesus came forth 
he directed the novice to conduct him to 
the quiet dwelling of the Esseers. But an- 
other Esseer youth had come to seek in- 
formation of him in J-erusalem, and the 
two now carried Jesus between them, as 
he was still weak and faint from the fa- 
tigue he had endured on his journey. 

After much effort and many difficulties 
they brought him in the night time to the 
Brotherhood, to the house of the elder, 
which is located a few stadis from Jeru- 
salem and close by Olive Mountain. 

Here Jesus was placed on a soft bed of 
moss, where he soon fell into a profound 
slumber. And the Esseer youths hastened 
to Joseph, Nicodemus and the other Esseer 
friends to inform them of what had oc- 

Before the dawning of day a council was 
held that they might further protect Jesus, 
he having returned to Jerusalem so openly, 
for the sake of the holy Spirit, that he 

The Letter 99 

might strengthen his followers in their 
work. And with one accord they deter 
mined that no time should be lost, the 
priests in the city having their secret spies 
who were trying even to entrap his dis- 

It was in council agreed that he immedi- 
ately must depart hence, that he might not 
be discovered, and that he should return 
to the quiet valley not far distant from 
Jutha and the castle of Masseda, where 
there is a wild and mountainous country. 
Here Jesus had lived before, together with 
John the physician, with whom he was ad- 
mitted to the holy Order of our Brethren. 
This was considered also a safe place in 
that many Esseers lived there. 

While they yet were in council consid- 
ering, Jesus awoke from his refreshing 
slumbers, and wondered greatly to see 
that he was surrounded by his brethren. 
But Joseph and Nicodemus beseeched him 
that he save himself and not again permit 
himself to fall into the power of the priests. 

100 The Crucifixion 

Joseph even told him that it had come to 
him that Caiaphas had fixed his suspicions 
upon him, that he, with the Galileans, 
formed a secret plot to overthrow the pres- 
ent condition of things, and that Caiaphas 
would demand of him an explanation why- 
he had laid Jesus in his own tomb. 

He had suspicion even on Pilate that 
he had secretly contrived with me, because 
that he had given the supposed corpse to 
me without receiving pay therefor. 

And as Joseph persuaded Jesus, with 
much ardor, to comply with his wishes, and 
as all the elders supported him, Jesus an- 
swered : 

**Be it so; but I conjure you to encour- 
age my disciples. Help and protect them 
and tell them that they shall have no 
doubts, for I am with them still in body 
and spirit." 

And Joseph entreated him that he take 
further rest, as Nicodemus had expressed 
fear lest the excitement and enthusiasm 
of Jesus would endanger and not help his 

The Letter 101 

martyred body. For even if the wounds 
in his hands were beginning to heal, and 
the wound in his side emitted no more 
humor, his body was still weak and easily 
affected by the excitement of his mind. 
But, having slept, he for the immediate 
present felt himself refreshed. 

After further consideration Jesus said: 
**If my disciples are not convinced that 
I really live, and if I do not go forth among 
them, they will think me an apparition 
and a delusion of their imagination.'' 

Joseph answered him and said: **Let 
us advance John to the higher degrees of 
our Order, that he may be convinced of 
thy living, and may execute thy directions 
and inform the other disciples concerning 

But the elders of the brethren were not 
willing that John should be admitted into 
all the secrets, inasmuch as he was yet 
only in the lowest degree, and they feared 
that in his ardor he might inform others 
that Jesus was here. 

102 The Crucifixion 

While they were yet in council consid- 
ering, a novice of our Order arrived, who 
had been sent to the city. He reported that 
John, with his friends, had hastened to 
Bethania to comfort the women in Lazarus' 
house, and inform them that Jesus was 
yet alive and had rested upon his bosom. 

And John had wondered that Jesus had 
not directed him to go to Galilee, as he 
had ordered the women to do. He did not 
think, therefore, that it was the intention 
of his Master, and that the disciples ought 
to wait for coming events. 

And Jesus remained all that day with 
the Esseer friends; but when night came 
on we all departed by the secret road — 
Joseph, Nicodemus and the elders of the 
Order — and having passed the valley of 
Eephaim, we arrived at Masseda at the 
breaking of day; and following a narrow 
path known only to the Esseers, we came 
at last to the brethren in that wild valley. 

Here the elder provided for Jesus. And 
when Joseph and we others were about to 

The Letter 103 

depart Jesus gave us his word tliat he 
would remain there until the Father should 
call him to fulfil his mission. 

And each day the brethren sent a mes- 
senger to us to inform us of the health of 
our dearly beloved Brother. And we were 
told that Jesus had rested a number of 
days, but that his heart was sad and sorely 
afflicted with melancholy thoughts. 

This was the same valley where he had 
wandered with John, his beloved compan- 
ion, and with whom he had been initiated 
into our holy Order. 

And Jesus meditated on that John who, 
as a physician, had founded a school and 
had baptized, had been slain by the ene- 
mies, while he had been saved by the hand 
of God, wherein he saw the command of 
God that he should not rest, in that his 
body had been restored to him for some 

By this thought his mind was oppressed 
and overwrought, and as he came to the 
place where he and John had solemnly 

104 The Crucifixion 

vowed that they would die for truth and 
virtue, he felt that he was called to follow 
the mission in the cause of which his 
friend had died. 

And Jesus went every day to this blessed 
spot, and refreshed his body, viewing the 
splendors of nature. And he selected a 
place whence he could see the high tower 
of Masseda toward the west, shielded from 
the morning and the noonday sun by lofty 
mountains, whilst on the other side the 
view was unobstructed and he could see 
far away over an open country toward the 
sea and the valley of Sittim. 

But the elder of the Brotherhood left 
him not alone, inasmuch as he had ob- 
served that Jesus often would lie in pro- 
found revery, and that the longing to be 
among his disciples would overcome all 
care for his own safety. 

About this time it came to pass that our 
brethren of the Brotherhood in Jerusalem 
remembered the promise they had made to 
Jesus to protect his disciples and strength^ 

The Letter 105 

en tliem in their belief in the resurrection 
of their Master. It had come to them that 
not all of the disciples were convinced of 
the resurrection of their Master. And one 
of them that doubted was Thomas, a deep 
thinker, who had received his education 
from the Esseer brethren. Because of this, 
he possessed profound knowledge in the 
secret powers and processes of nature. Ac- 
cording to nature's laws he explained all 
the things that had come to pass, and he 
believed that there was no miracle ; for, as 
an Esseer, he was raised above supersti- 

Jesus confided in him and told him his 
mission, and Thomas believed in him and 
saw that his mission was one of great im- 
portance. This Jesus did in that Thomas 
was a man of clear vision and strong rea- 
son, excitement and passion being unknown 
to him ; and with patience and great perse- 
verance he tried all things before his mind 
would be convinced. 

And when the disciples were together 

106 The Crucifixion 

in their secret place of meeting Thomas 
was with them, and he reasoned with them, 
not believing that a man can rise from the 

But John had himself seen and felt Je- 
sus and held him on his breast. Neverthe- 
less, Thomas would not be convinced, even 
though he believed in the prophecies of 
the prophets and that they would surely be 

For, dear Brethren, the Jews hoped to 
see the Messias come in the manner Elias 
had proclaimed. 

And as our Brotherhood had promised 
to report all, especially as the disciples 
themselves did not agree, it was to be feared 
that their ardor in the good cause would 
diminish. We therefore sent two youths 
to the valley at Masseda to inform the 
brethren that they might counsel with Je- 

When Jesus heard these things his heart 
was filled with a great desire to leave the 
solitude and show himself once more to 
his disciples. 

The Letter 107 

And as the messenger had reported that 
Thomas would not believe that Jesus was 
still alive, except he could feel his hands 
and the wound in his side, Jesus no longer 
could restrain his desire, and even the elder 
counseled him to go and convince them. 

This came to pass on the seventh day 
that Jesus had been in concealment. 

And thus it happened that our brethren 
went with Jesus. And on the eighth day, 
when the disciples were together in Jeru- 
salem, Jesus went forth among them, and 
Thomas was convinced. 

Having accomplished this, Jesus spoke 
to his disciples and admonished them, for 
his own sake, that they were not safe. He 
also exhorted them to faith and to be of 
one accord. But he could not tell them 
when or where to meet him in Galilee, in- 
asmuch as he had first to consider thereon. 

After this he departed from them in the 
evening, and John went with him. And 
outside the house there was an Esseer 
youth who desired to commit himself to 

108 The Crucifixion 

the service of Jesus. And Jesus sent him 
to report that he was in Bethania. 

Thereupon Jesus crossed Kidron with 
John as his companion. The night was 
beautiful and clear, and the moon shed a 
dim radiance over the scene. 

At Gethsemane Jesus rested by the wall 
and spoke with John of his martyrdom 
and sufferings. Having received informa- 
tion of his disciples, he sent John forward 
to the house of Lazarus in Bethania, that 
he might announce his coming and learn if 
he there would be safe. 

Immediately thereafter Jesus went into 
the house to see his mother and his friends. 

After having thanked God that they 
were permitted once more to see each oth- 
er, they ate and refreshed themselves to- 
gether. On the following day he remained 
with them, comforting them and exhorting 
them that they believe in the truth. He 
warned them of their false expectations, in 
that they had come to think that he would 
forever remain with them. 

The Letter 109 

He told them that it now was time that 
he should go, as the night was at hand. He 
said to them that he would hasten to Gali- 
lee, there to strengthen his disciples that 
they persevere in the good work. 

But even while Jesus was inBethania dan- 
gers were threatening him. Caiaphas, the 
high-priest, had been informed that Jesus 
had been seen in Jerusalem. And he had 
spread the rumor that the disciples had 
stolen the body of Jesus, and had invented 
a miraculous story. 

But there were many among the people 
in the city who believed that Jesus had 
risen by the hand of God, and these com- 
menced to complain of the injustice done 
to him, and to believe in his doctrines. 

And the high-priest feared a revolution 
among the people, and believed that the 
Galileans were intending to overthrow the 
government and set up a new ruler. He 
was therefore suspicious and watchful. 

In the evening of the same day came 
Nicodemus to our Brotherhood and brought 

110 The Crucifixion 

to us the information that Joseph of Ari- 
mathea had been arrested, and that they 
falsely attributed to him criminal pur- 
poses, in that he had been in secret associa- 
tion with Jesus. Whereupon great anxi- 
ety arose among our brethren, for we 
feared that also Jesus had been arrested, 
inasmuch as he had not been seen by any 
of us since the evening when he convinced 

Our elders thereupon met in council, 
wherein it was agreed that we should 
search for Jesus, and use all efforts to lib- 
erate Joseph. 

Two of our brethren were commissioned 
to array themselves in their white holiday- 
garb and search for Jesus in Bethania, as 
Jesus had informed the Esseer youth that 
he would go thither. 

And as they came to Bethania in the 
evening, and in the moonlight saw the 
house of Lazarus not far distant, they met 
with a man on the secret road who care- 
fully scanned the road. But the Esseers 

The Letter 111 

knew him, and they asked of him if Jesus 
was at his house. For this was Lazarus, 
and having recognized our brethren, he 
acknowledged that it was even so, and that 
Jesus intended that very night to go to 
Bethania, and therefore he had examined 
the secret road to see if it were safe. 

The brethren were conducted into the 
house. Here, in a small secluded room, 
they spoke with Jesus. And when the 
brethren had told Jesus of the arrest and 
danger of Joseph, Jesus recommended him 
to the protection of the Order, prayed to 
God, and thereafter sent John to Jerusa- 
lem that he might warn his disciples of 
their danger. 

Having taken leave of the women, we 
were accompanied by Lazarus as far as 
Gilgad. Thence he went further on alone 
in the night, and in the early morning he 
had come to the river Jordan, in the place 
where through John he was baptized by 
the Order. 

Our holy Brotherhood in Jerusalem was 

112 The Crucifixion 

DOW planning how to liberate Joseph, 
whereto we were in possession of many 
secret means. 

And John had warned his friends, the 
disciples, as he had been ordered. And 
the next morning they went in great num- 
bers to the border of Galilee. Arriving 
there, they asked, one from another: 
** Whither shall we go! Our Master has 
fixed no time nor place." 

And they thought of their homes 
from which they had so long been sepa- 
rated, and as they were considering 
whether they would search for Jesus in 
Nazareth or in Capernaum, Peter said: 
**Let us provide for sustenance, and not 
be idle ; but let us work till the Master shall 
call us to a higher labor." 

After hearing what Peter had said, they 
resolved to resume their former trades, 
and Peter repaired to Bethsaida, where 
some of the others also arrived before 
many days, to assist him and receive his 

The Letter 113 

And Peter was a skillful fisherman, and 
he invited the others to go with him to 
sea in the evening. 

Jesus traveled each day but a short dis- 
tance, and on the way stopped only with 
the Esseer friends who lived in the valleys. 
And these brethren were well informed by 
the Brotherhood in Jerusalem of all that 
happened to us, and from these Jesus 
learned that Joseph had been liberated 
from prison and was on the way to meet 

And when Jesus declared that he would 
go forth in Galilee into the places where 
he had been known before, the Esseer 
friends entreated him that he should not 
do this, and explained the many dangers 
that were about him. 

And Jesus heeded them, and reflected as 
to the place where he would meet with his 
disciples. And he selected a safe and lone- 
ly place where he was not known and where 
there was opportunity for his disciples to 

114 The Crucifixion 

But the Esseer friends had been advised 
by the elder of the Brotherhood in Jeru- 
salem to choose for a place of meeting the 
lonely valley at the foot of Mount Karmel, 
for the country is beautiful, and there live 
many Esseers. The valleys abound in pow- 
erful herbs, and the odors they give forth 
are healthful to the wanderer. 

From this place our Brotherhood re- 
ceives the herbs its physicians use in medi- 
cines. The clear water runs sparkling 
from the rocks. These rocks contain many 
caverns in which dwell they who seek the 

And when the Esseer brethren advised 
Jesus to go to this country, he remembered 
how the prophets of old were said to have 
lived in the same places, Elias as well as 

And so it was that his mind was made up 
to go thither, for there he could teach his 
disciples without fear that his enemies 
would find his dwelling place, for in this 
country lived only members of our Order, 
our brethren. 

The Letter 115 

But Jesus desired that none of the breth- 
ren should accompany him, and so he jour- 
neyed alone the road to Bethsaida, there 
to remain with Simon, who was one of his 

Arriving in the early morning at the 
shore of the Sea of Galilee, he there found 
a hut which Peter had built for his own 
convenience in the pursuit of his trade. 
And he found there Peter, and with him 
John, and they were fishing. Here Jesus 
refreshed himself, partaking with them of 
the feast of love. Here he learned that all 
the disciples had agreed to come together 
in Bethsaida that they might there counsel 
together what to do. 

But Jesus called them to Mount Karmel, 
as he had promised the Esseers. And on 
the evening of the next day Jesus again 
pursued his journey. 

Having rested and refreshed himself 
some days at the foot of Mount Karmel, 
Jesus was prepared to teach again. Here 
his disciples came, bringmg with them 

116 The Crucifixion 

many of his followers ; for here in this lone- 
ly valley they were safe from danger, and 
the account of the resurrection of Jesus 
had created great excitement in Galilee. 

But many of those who came were moved 
only by the spirit of wonder. They had 
come, therefore, to see Jesus do wonders 
and perform miracles. Others hoped for 
the coming of the new kingdom of Messias, 
and the deliverance of the Jews from the 

Jesus was sorely grieved in his heart 
by these interpretations of his mission, for 
often had he spoken of these things, saying 
to his disciples that it was not meet that 
the Son of God should be clothed with 
worldly power and splendor. 

But the Esseer brethren understood and 
did not share in these errors, for they well 
knew that according to the laws of the 
Order which he had vowed to keep, our 
brethren can take no part in matters of 
state, nor aspire to worldly power. 

And the people, desiring much to see Je- 

The Letter 117 

sus, were informed by the disciples that 
the meeting would take place early in the 

Jesus descended from the summit of the 
mountain, where the fog assumed a red- 
dish color from the sun. And because he 
wore the white robe of the Esseer Order, 
the people believed him to be a supernat- 
ural being, and they threw themselves 
down, with their faces to the ground. And 
many of the people were terrified, and drew 
aside out of his way. 

And Jesus spoke with a loud voice, say- 
ing that he had not come to found a school, 
but the kingdom of God on earth, through 
wisdom and virtue. 

And he instituted baptism, and disclosed 
to his disciples the knowledge he had 
learned from the elders, how to heal the 
sick, determine the virtues of minerals and 
herbs as medicines, make harmless the sav- 
age beasts, counteract the destroying ef- 
fects of poison, and many other things. 

And the disciples and the people that 

118 The Crucifixion 

had come with them, remained many days 
in the valley, and Jesus taught them how 
they should live and preach the doctrine 
in his name. 

But the Esseer brethren were informed 
by the elder of the Brotherhood in Jeru- 
salem that the secret messengers of the 
priests and the grand council had been 
told of the excitement in Galilee, and that 
many people had repaired to the valley of 
Mount Karmel. 

And the brethren warned Jesus of his 
danger, that he might avoid his enemies 
and thus fulfil his mission. For they had 
been secretly informed that Caiaphas in- 
tended quietly to arrest and assassinate 
Jesus, in that he believed him to be a de- 

Jesus thereupon sent away his hearers 
and told them that if they would speak 
with him thereafter they must go thence 
to Bethabara, where he would await them. 

Having spoken much to the people and 
taught them, he was weary and in need of 

The Letter 119 

And the time came when the Esseers 
partake of their feast of love. And all the 
brethren in the valley assembled in the 
house where Jesus dwelt. Joseph of Ari- 
mathea and Nicodemus and we the elders 
of the Brotherhood in Jerusalem departed 
to be together with him. 

But Jesus was yet weak from his suffer- 
ing, and his great joy at seeing again his 
beloved friends, Joseph and Nicodemus, 
caused him great excitement. And he 
spoke much concerning his death. 

**Do not misapprehend me if I have not 
in everything lived according to the rules 
of our Brotherhood. For if I had labored in 
secret, as you have done, the truth would 
not now be known to the multitudes. 

**Even in public can the wise practice 
wisdom, the chosen virtue." 

And Jesus exhorted the brethren to lay 
aside their secrecy and go forth among 
the people, and unite with his disciples to 
teach together with them. 

And the words he spoke took root in the 

120 The Crucifixion 

hearts of many of the brethren, and there- 
fore I now find many of them witness for 
Jesus, and have left their solitude. 

And Joseph spoke to Jesus, saying: 

*^Knowest thou that the people who do 
not altogether understand your doctrine, 
are meditating to proclaim you a worldly 
king, to overthrow the Eomans 1 But thou 
must not disturb the kingdom of God 
through war and revolution. Therefore 
choose the solitude. Live with the Esseer 
friends and be in safety, that your doc- 
trine may be proclaimed by your dis- 

But the elders of the Brotherhood were 
reflecting that it would cause great excite- 
ment among the people if Jesus were thus 
to disappear like the sun in the evening, 
and not reappear. 

But Jesus feared that the words of Jo- 
seph might prove true, and he would not 
suffer that blood should flow for his sake, 
nor that revolution should cause destruc- 

The Letter 121 

Therefore he consented that he would go 
into solitude, his body being very weak. 
And with Joseph and Nicodemus he went 
to Bethania. On the way they conversed 
together concerning the secrets of the 
Brotherhood; and Jesus desired to take 
leave of his friends in Bethania, and return 
to the lonely country near the Dead Sea. 

In Bethania he comforted his mother, 
also the other friends of Lazarus, and ex- 
plained to them that according to his doc- 
trine he always was with them and re- 
mained with them. 

But the knowledge that Jesus was in the 
vicinity of Jerusalem soon came to all his 
followers, and many came together and 
were directed to repair to a secret place at 
a fixed time. Thither now went Jesus. 

And here many hundred people had come 
together, and as they made manifest their 
belief that Jesus would establish a worldly 
kingdom and liberate the land of his peo- 
ple from the yoke of the Eomans, he in- 
structed them and taught them that this 
would not come to pass. 

122 The Crucifixion 

But Jesus perceived that it was expe- 
dient that he should go away again into the 
solitude, that the people should no more 
believe that his kingdom was of this world, 
but that they should believe in his words 
and his doctrines as the word of God. 

That day it came to pass that Jesus went 
to Jerusalem, and his trusted disciples 
went with him. 

But the high council already had sent 
out many secret messengers to circulate 
false rumors, and make Jesus a captive. 
But Jesus was warned and protected by 
the Esseer brethren. He was now both 
faint and weak. His wounds again began 
to pain him, and his face was pale. 

When Jesus entered the city with Peter 
and John, his friends conducted him into 
a solitary house. Here he called to him 
the elders of the Esseer Order. 

He said to them that his time for rest 
was near at hand, and instructed them to 
wait for him at the *' Olive Mount," and 
thence accompany him to the place of soli- 

The Letter 123 

Thereupon he gathered together his 
disciples, and went through the city and 
out of the gate that leads to the valley of 

And his soul was greatly moved, and his 
heart was filled with sadness, for he knew 
that this would be his last walk. 

Arriving at Kedron, he tarried for a lit- 
tle while and wept over Jerusalem. Thence 
he went forward in silence, and his disciples 
followed him. 

And Jesus led them to the place most 
dear to him, near the summit of Mount 
Olivet, where can be seen almost the whole 
of the land of Palestine ; for Jesus longed 
once more to look upon the country where 
he had lived and worked. 

To the east was seen Jordan, the Dead 
Sea and the Arabian Mountains; and to 
the west shone the fires from the Temple 
Eock; but on the other side of the moun- 
tain was Bethania. 

And the chosen disciples believed that 
Jesus would lead them to Bethania. But 

124 The Crucifixion 

the elders of the Brotherhood had silently 
come together on the other side of the 
mountain, ready to travel, waiting with 
Jesus, as had been agreed upon. 

And he exhorted his disciples to be of 
good cheer, and firm in their faith. As he 
spoke his voice grew more and more melan- 
choly, and his mind was absorbed in solemn 

He prayed for the friends he was about 
to leave, and lifting his arms he blessed 
them. And the mist rose around the moun- 
tain, tinted by the descending sun. 

Then the elders of the Esseer Brother- 
hood sent word to Jesus that they were 
waiting, and that it was then already late. 

As the disciples knelt down, their faces 
bent toward the ground, Jesus rose and 
hastily went away through the gathering 
mist. When the disciples rose there stood 
before then! two of our brethren in the 
white garb of our Brotherhood, and they 
instructed them not to wait for Jesus, as 
he was gone, whereupon they hastened 
away down the mountain. 

The Letter 125 

But the disappearance of Jesus filled his 
disciples with new hope and confidence, for 
now they knew that they themselves were 
to proclaim the word of Jesus, as he, their 
beloved, would return no more. 

Therefore faithfully they kept together 
and daily went to the temple and to the 
places where he had taught them, and the 
enemies dared not molest them. 

But in the city there arose a rumor that 
Jesus was taken up in a cloud, and had 
gone to heaven. This was invented by the 
people who had not been present when 
Jesus departed. The disciples did not con- 
tradict this rumor, inasmuch as it served 
to strengthen their doctrine, and influenced 
the people who wanted a miracle in order 
to believe in him. 

John, who was present, knew all of these 
things, but he had not spoken nor written 
anything about it. Likewise Matthew. 
There are others who have gathered the 
rumors thereof into an illustration, which 
they believed themselves, as they were 
moved by the spirit to glorify Jesus. 

126 The Crucifixion 

Thus, one of them named Marcus wrote 
to a congregation in Rome and gave an 
account of this event, but inasmuch as he 
had not been present, his source of infor- 
mation was only the rumors among the 

Even thus is it with Lucas, who tried to 
do the same. 

But the disciples were advised by the 
Esseer brethren to assume the customs and 
manners of the Esseens for the sake of 
unanimity. Therefore they formed a soci- 
ety wherein even the women took an offi- 
cious part, especially Mary and her friends 
from Galilee. 

But Jesus was accompanied on his way 
by the elders of the Brotherhood, likewise 
by Joseph and Nicodemus ; and in the night 
time they procured a beast of burden for 
Jesus, who grew more faint. His mind was 
greatly moved at leaving his friends, and 
he felt that his death would soon come. 

When, at the end of their journey, they 
had come to the Esseer brethren by the 

The Letter 127 

Dead Sea, Jesus was in deep suffering, so 
that only the physicians could care for him. 
Joseph and Nicodemus remained with him, 
and having heard his wishes in lengthy con- 
versations, they took leave of him, promis- 
ing to inform him minutely concerning the 
affairs of the congregation in Jerusalem. 

But in Jerusalem none save John and 
Matthew knew that Jesus had returned to 
the solitude of the Order, that the people 
might not proclaim him their worldly king. 

But Joseph and Nicodemus had three 
times been with him in his place of conceal- 
ment. And on their return they informed 
us of him. But his body was not vigorous 
enough to overcome the sufferings he had 
endured for want of rest. 

His soul longed for his disciples, and he 
was anxious that nothing should be neg- 
lected. His restless mind found no consola- 
tion in the solitude, and anxiety consumed 
his vital powers. 

But Joseph and Nicodemus had been 
with him the last time when the sixth full 

128 The Crucifixion 

moon was waning, and they came to our 
Brotherhood as we were preparing to par- 
take of the feast of love, and revealed the 
secret to the elder of the Order. 

And their hearts were sorely grieved, for 
the chosen one was taken np into the heav- 
enly dwellings of the Father. 

The Eternal Spirit had gently burst the 
clay, and tranquil as his life was his death. 

And he was buried by the physician close 
by the Dead Sea, as bids the regulations of 
our Brotherhood. 

But Nicodemus enjoined silence concern- 
ing the death of his friend, to all who did 
not belong to the highest degree. 

Here, my dear brethren, you have the 
only true account of our friend, whom God 
had called to teach wisdom and virtue to 
the people through parables and noble 

It is now a long time since then, and the 
Jews have seven times eaten the passover 
when I now write this for your informa- 
tion. And thus you may judge of the truth 

The Letter 129 

of the tradition as it is told by the people. 

For I know that many of his new disci- 
ples tell of miracles, even as they them- 
selves have wished it might be. And the 
thoughtful do not contradict them, for the 
people are not yet wise enough to receive 
the truth without adding to it that which 
is supernatural. 

As you yourself have conceived, there 
are many rumors come from Eome that I 
need not contradict, for you know yourself 
what a Brother of our Order has to do and 
not to do. 

But not only the Jews tell of superhuman 
things concerning him that they believe, but 
also the Romans; for the pagans believe 
in gods, and these are identified with the 
miracles told by the Jews. 

And I give you the authority to inform 
the elders of our Brotherhood in your coun- 
try, what I have written to you, but not 
the novices nor those of the other degrees. 
For his is the glory, the Son of God, whom 
we all worship more than the others who 
are removed to heaven. 

130 The Crucifixion 

And what Jesus has taught while he 
lived we ought to promote with good-will. 
For he has explained the doctrine minutely 
to everyone. He has revealed the secret, 
therefore receive everyone friendly who is 
called by his name ; for his disciples will go 
to all countries, and you will know them 
by their greeting, which is the same as that 
of our Order. And you ought to help them 
as our Brotherhood in Jerusalem and the 
whole country has served the Son of the 
heavenly Father. 

This is what I have to say. And as it is 
written, thus it has passed. For the elders 
of our Brotherhood have witnessed these 
things themselves, and my own eyes have 
seen him, and my ears heard him, and I am 
a friend of Joseph who sits in the grand 

And forward to the brethren the greet- 
ing : Peace be with you. 




FOR an enlightened Christian it will be 
wholly indifferent whether the life of 
Jesus, as recorded by the gospel, has an 
historical foundation or not. It remains a 
scientific problem whether Jesus really 
died on the cross, or was taken down only 
apparently dead, and not a religious one; 
for in the moral world the very determina- 
tion to die for truth and virtue ought to be 
considered as highly as the physical death. 

The intelligent man, that has made the 
thought clear through science and study, 
and overcome the superstition of tradition, 
may be a true defender of the Christian 
spirit if he even doubts everything in the 
gospel that appears to him in any way 
mythical or inexplicable. 

But there are men to whom only that 


132 The Crucifixion 

is holy that they cannot explain or compre- 
hend themselves; and others, again, who 
will try to lull their own minds into tran- 
quil faith on undoubted scriptural author- 
ity; men that consider the outward events 
for the aim of Jesus' life, and keep their 
minds chained down to a dead literal faith ; 
further, there are persons who, through 
their simplicity of mind and education, do 
not ponder on the subject at all, who con- 
sider sinful every examination into the 
ideas prevailing in past centuries. 

There are also persons who keep others 
in ignorance that they may not examine 
into the account of the miracles. 

All such persons are not true defenders 
of the Christian spirit, and the therein con- 
tained moral liberty of thought. Such per- 
sons will never take a step toward the im- 
provement of the Christian spirit in the 
external life, and it is just therein Chris- 
tianity ought to appear, not therein that 
men absorb themselves in their own selfish 
conceits, expecting the spirit without doing 

Translator's Remarks 133 

anything themselves. No, the Christian 
spirit ought to be introduced into the actual 
ever changing life, to be modified to the 
wants of the every-day life. 

These reflections did the translator pon- 
der upon when he tried to understand how 
orthodox and superstitious people could 
imagine every thread in the garb of the 
Saviour a product of Divinity, or how they 
in individual impotence or spiritual bond- 
age, with eager hands, grasp for a pillar in 
superstition and bigotry, this class of per- 
sons coming across the old Esseer letter, 
would necessarily charge it with profanity, 
and above all with non-genuineness. 

Although it cannot be proven by living 
witnesses that the original, from which the 
Latin copy is translated, was a genuine 
document of the time of which it informs, 
yet this letter contains so many interesting 
events, singularly corresponding with the 
account of the gospel, and recorded with- 
out any apparent motive of the author, in 
a pious, simple and in no way excited 

134 The Crucifixion 

Just through the simplicity of the author 
will many inexplicable events and mytho- 
logical accidents in the life of Jesus appear 
clear that were leading threads, and there 
is much that may be explained by the ex- 
ternal life of Jesus and his spiritual mis- 

And when we minutely examine into the 
account given by the Esseers, raised as 
they were above the common superstition 
of their time and well informed in the 
secrets of nature, we find effects and con- 
sequences rationally explained and many 
things made clear that the gospel surrounds 
with mystery. 

It is to be regretted that there are in our 
day people who consider the Christian life 
profaned by the rational and reasonable 
explanation and account of the miracles, 
even when it has the stamp of testamental 
accuracy, and is placed on a natural foun- 
dation, although any man possessed of 
common understanding remains convinced 
of the non-existence of miracles ; while the 

Translator's Remarks 135 

superstitious, in miracle believing, often is 
brought in situations where he is given to 
hypocrisy and conceit for to be able to be- 

It is just this hypocrisy that so often fills 
the mind of the rational thinker with dis- 
gust. And in the present, as well as to 
all times, the religious people have been 
divided in the same three directions mto 
which it already was directed at the time 
of Christ. Even the present time has its 
**Esseers,'' its ^^Sadducees'* and its 
* * Pharisees. * ' 

Both then and now the number of the 
Esseer defenders of the faith are few. It 
comprises of the free scientific thinkers, of 
they that search for truth, of they that 
exercise virtue in every idea of life, of they 
that can understand and explain the ac- 
quired wisdom and make it useful. To 
these, as the old recovered document 
proves, Jesus belonged ; and this is as much 
more probable, as the gospel never reports 
Jesus to have spoken against the Esseen, 

136 The Crucifixion 

although in many ways he combated against 
the doctrines of the Sadducees and the 

Even the present time has its Sadducees, 
the same class of infidels as now, raised 
above tradition, gormandizing, worldly 
rich men, who, unconcerned about eternity, 
wished to enjoy themselves in this life. 

But to all times the Pharisees have been 
numerous. From time immemorial has 
hypocrisy been the handmaiden to embrace 
every tradition that has characterized 
them. With them have good and bad 
angels exercised their undefined influence. 
The miracles have spurred them to outward 
piety, outward hypocritical gestures and 
public benevolent acts, which have served 
as a cloak for the corrupted soul. 

The translator of the old recovered per- 
gament views the matter from the Esseen 
standard, and feels satisfied to know that 
this view of the matter has got to be a ne- 
cessity for every free-minded, scientific, un- 
prejudiced and really intelligent man. 

Translator's Remarks 137 

Several efforts have been made already in 
past times to explain the myths of the gos- 
pel rationally, and, indeed, penetrating 
minds have succeeded to give them the 
character of probability, but they could not 
be proved through any historical event, as 
the canonical dictators defined, what was 
authentical, only that which was service- 
able to their canonical reign, and declared 
all such traditions to be apocryphical that 
will say not useful, which in reality were 
built on historical foundation, or were not 
written according to the desire of a holy 
seer for miracles. 

Even the Esseen letter that we have re- 
corded above would by them have been con- 
sidered apocryphical writing. 

If we examine the Esseen letter, that is 
written to a brother of the Order in Alex- 
andria to inform him and the other breth- 
ren of the highest degree of the Brother- 
hood concerning the wonderful events that 
transpired in Jerusalem, and which 
through rumors were made known all over 

138 The Crucifixion 

Asia, we will find many points of great 
interest, that invite to a closer reflection. 

In the first place, it is to be noted that the 
Esseen brethren in Alexandria doubted the 
reports of miracles that the rumor had 
brought them, and that they, to obtain in- 
formation, wrote to the Brotherhood in 
Jerusalem to hear their opinion. Thus 
there were already many people there that 
were raised above the superstitions of the 
common people. 

From the letter we also see that Jesus 
himself, brought up in the school of the 
Essees, did not believe in miracles, al- 
though his mother, with her excitable mind 
and full belief in the Jewish traditions of 
miracles, had a powerful influence on him 
in his childhood and youth. 

But the letter also describes that Joseph, 
his foster-father, had a great influence on 
the mind of Jesus, as it is said about him 
that he was a man of great experience. 

The Esseers protected the child in its life 
until it was old enough to be received into 

Translator's Remarks 139 

the Order as a member. According to the 
letter, this took place in the country near 
Jutha, where lived then an Esseen Brother- 
hood. Here it was that he was met by the 
elder of the Brotherhood, probably calcu- 
lated by the Essees to prepare him for his 
reception into the Order. 

It is also told that here he was received 
into the Order contemporary with his 
friend John, and further on in the letter is 
recorded that John, who after his becom- 
ing a member perfected himself for a phy- 
sician, was killed by the enemies. No doubt 
hereby is meant John the Baptist, who thus 
also has been an Esseer. 

It may appear remarkable that Jesus, 
as a member of the Esseen Order and 
knowing all the secrets and duties of the 
Brotherhood, did not live in the solitude 
and join some particular Brotherhood. 
But Jesus felt called to preach to the peo- 
ple, and could not satisfy his active mind 
by passing his time in the solitude, and 
not teach the special doctrines abroad that 
he felt it his mission to proclaim. 

140 The Crucifixion 

We even see that the elders of his breth- 
ren always were desiring him to withdraw 
into the solitude, and not endanger his life 
among the people. We also are informed 
that towards the end of his life Jesus ex- 
plained to his brethren his motive of not 
staying more with them than he did, and at 
last he took their advice and retired into 
the solitude. 

But of particular importance is the 
minute record of the sufferings of Jesus, 
and the way in which he conducted himself 
on the cross. The gospel records that 
Jesus really died on the cross, and thereby 
it stamps his recovery as a miracle, which 
the intelligent man considers a myth, and 
from which he extracts the allegorical 
meaning. But in this letter we are in- 
formed of events in their simple represen- 
tation that contains so much that is proba- 
ble, and with the circumstances corre- 
sponding, that it actually will be a neces- 
sity to believe on it. 

The fact that Jesus only apparently died 

Translator's Remarks 141 

on the cross does not in the least diminish 
the sacredness of his mission, for his death 
for the divine truth was fulfilled thereby, 
that he, full of resignation, suffered the 
pain of death till his physical life was ex- 

In the old letter is recorded that he did 
not die on the cross, but passed into un- 
consciousness. Even the way in which 
Jesus appeared to die on the cross makes 
the probability of apparent death possible. 
First, he lost consciousness very early, so 
that even Pilate doubted his death, and be- 
fore he allowed him taken down from the 
cross he ordered the Eoman Centurio to 
convince himself thereof. Secondly, by the 
then existing mode of crucifixion, was it 
not uncommon that the crucified could be 
brought to life. 

We are also informed by the historians 
of that date that it was not an uncommon 
thing that crucified criminals were brought 
back to life after being taken down from 
the cross. It is also proved that these un- 

142 The Crucifixion 

fortunates, among nations that did not 
have the Jewish custom of not allowing the 
crucified to hang on the cross over night, 
often would hang on the cross eight or nine 
days before death at last put an end to 
their dreadful sufferings. 

When we examine into the methods of 
the crucifixion as it was executed on Jesus, 
we will be convinced that it could not be 
impossible for life to remain for a long 
time. Not any of the appliances used were 
mortal, and first got to be so when they 
acted for such a long time that the vital 
power was not able of reaction. Arms and 
feet were bound with thick and hard cords 
so tight that not only these limbs became 
numb, but even the circulation of the blood 
was almost stopped thereby. 

That this actually was the case is proved 
by the description of the old historians, 
that the piercing of the hands with thick 
spikes produced no great expression of 
pain, and only for a while caused bleeding. 
But the physiological consequence of thus 

Translator's Remarks 143 

tightly lacing the limbs would be the forc- 
ible pushing back of the blood to the brain 
and heart, whereby would be produced fits 
of apoplexy and deep swoonings. 

Both the thieves that were crucified with 
Jesus still lived when he was taken down 
and showed outward signs of life. Other- 
wise their bones would not have been 
crushed, as was the custom, and which was 
not done to Jesus, as they thought him 
dead. As he was exhausted already from 
the scourging, it is easily explained how 
he so soon passed into a state of uncon- 
sciousness and apparent death. Even the 
gospel records that he was very weak — 
that he sank down under the weight of the 

In the Esseen letter a particular weight 
is laid on the wound in the side, and the 
physiological knowledge of Nicodemus, who 
in this letter is ascribed great secret knowl- 
edge of nature, and especially in the Esseen 
science of curing, is indeed to be admired ; 
for it is recorded that Nicodemus, from the 

144 The Crucifixion 

condition of the wound, received new hope 
that Jesus was not actually dead, and his 
hope was realized. 

If Jesus really had been dead the wound 
could not bleed for such a long time, and 
especially not emit water and blood. An 
actual dead corpse will not bleed from an 
external wound that does not sever any 
arteries, because at the discontinuation of 
the circulation the blood very shortly will 

Thus Nicodemus conceived that the cir- 
culation of the blood in Jesus ' body had not 
ceased, and therefore, having sent the in- 
fluential Joseph to Pilate, he hurried away 
to procure the proper drugs, pretending 
that he wanted to embalm the body. 

The Esseen letter speaks repeatedly of 
the wound above the hip. Thus this wound 
was lower down than what is generally 
believed and represented. 

If we now take in consideration that the 
wound with the spear was not made to give 
Jesus the finishing stroke, but very care- 

Translator's Remarhs 145 

fully, to see if the corpse would show any 
convulsions or signs of life, and thereby 
prove that he actually was dead — if we fur- 
ther consider that the thrust took effect 
close above the hip, and from the soldiers 
standing below would have to be made in 
an inclined manner in an almost parallel 
direction with Jesus ' side, it is evident that 
no vital organ could have been severed, 
and the spear may only have pierced the 

In the letter this wound is not considered 
dangerous, and more attention is paid to 
the wounds in the hands after the spikes. 
Thus it appears that these were considered 
more dangeroUs. It is positively recorded 
that his feet were not pierced, as this was 
not the custom at crucifixions. 

Even if the apparent death of Jesus in 
the old letter was not maintained as a fact, 
still the existing historical circumstances 
make it more than probable. 

When we further pursue the letter and 
compare it with the gospel reports, we will 

146 The Crucifixion 

in neither of tliem find contradiction as 
regards facts. The only difference is that 
in the gospel all is transformed into a 
miraculous Oriental tradition, when the 
Esseer letter, on the other hand, pays no 
attention to any supernatural, undefined 
and imaginative illustration, but records 
tlfip' facts as they are. 

A dead corpse cannot walk about, for as 
long as the world has existed God never 
did contradict himself by overthrowing 
eternal laws of nature. Even if a single 
law of nature was set aside, the whole end- 
less chain of cause and effects, where every 
law keeps the other in balance, they would 
fall together in a chaos. 

If Jesus really as a messenger could go 
about, speak, eat and drink, even other men 
could do the same. But as the laws of 
nature do not permit of it, it has not been 
possible even in the case of Jesus. When 
ignorant and unintelligent men say, **for 
God is everything possible, ' ' it only shows 
their ignorance of the Divine nature; for 

Translator's Remarks 147 

no more than God can suffer the east rising 
sun to rise henceforth in the west, no more 
can he produce anything else in contrast 
to his eternal laws of nature. 

The Esseen letter in its representation 
of these events has therefore the important 
advantage that it treats with things pos- 
sible in nature. The recovery of Jesus is, 
according to this letter, supported by many 
circumstances that even now can easily be 

Jesus was not, as his companions in suf- 
fering, beaten with heavy clubs, and the 
letter even indicates the fear of Joseph 
and Nicodemus that this would be done. If 
it had been done no recovery had been pos- 
sible, and it would have been foolish to 
attempt it. 

But nature assisted the Essees in their 

The fact that they carefully took him 
down from the cross, bound around him 
leaves that were saturated with salves and 
liquids that were prepared from the aro- 

148 The Crucifixion 

matic herbs of the Orient, and jfilled with 
powerful fragrant qualities, the proximity 
of the grotto, where the body was laid on 
soft moss, where the spices might evapo- 
rate, and, together with the smoke of the 
aloe, necessarily must exercise an animat- 
ing influence on the benumbed nerves. 

Further, the bleeding of the wound in the 
side, that was a sure sign of the still exist- 
ing circulation of the blood, must neces- 
sarily assist the slumbering life to assume 
its functions by leading away the blood 
that during the crucifixion had been forced 
back to the heart, brain and lungs, and 
thereby benumbed these organs, so that the 
circulation of the blood could take place. 

The earthquake exercised a magnetic, 
electric, animating influence on the nerves, 
and when at last the shaking of the ground 
in the direction of the grotto filled the 
grave with electric gases at the same 
time that the body shook, it could not but 
cause him to awake from his slumber of 

Translator's Remarks 149 

All these circumstances are powerful 
means of calling back the slumbering to 
life, especially in the Orient. 

Furthermore, Nicodemus, the expe- 
rienced physician, and Joseph, the tender- 
hearted friend of Jesus, hoping the best 
from the operation of the drugs, went to- 
gether in the night to receive more minute 
information of the recovered but still weak 
Jesus. That the Esseen youths in their 
white flowing garb of the Order could be 
considered supernatural beings — angels — 
is easily explained by the excited state of 
mind of the concerned persons, and the 
imaginative mind of the Orientals. 

In the old letter is plainly showed that 
Jesus was brought back to life only through 
the exertions of the Essees, and this is 
easily explained by he vowing that the 
Order should be unto him as father and 
mother, and they in their turn fulfilled all 
their motherly duties. 

The circumstance that Jesus never ap- 
peared in two places at the same time also 

150 The Crucifixion 

speaks against the miraculous representa- 
tion of his life. But indeed he was sub- 
jected to time and place like other mortal 

Another miraculous representation is the 
ascension of Jesus. Men that can believe 
in the body rising from actual death can 
also unconditionally believe in the possi- 
bility of a bodily ascension to heaven. 

But the intelligent man, who from scien- 
tific and rational reasons considers it im- 
possible for an actual dead body to return 
to life, will see in the ascension another 
Jewish tradition — one of the apotheoses 
that were usual in olden times, not alone 
among the Jewish people, to glorify the 
memory of distinguished persons. With 
the Jewish people had the religious tradi- 
tion formed, the firm belief that all 
prophets ought to ascend to heaven, and 
the tradition of Elias and his chariot of fire 
is a side-piece to the one of Jesus' ascen- 

It is not doubted of such that possess a 

Translator's Remarks 151 

scientific knowledge of death and its nat- 
ural course, that Jesus did not bodily as- 
cend to heaven as Marcus and Lucas report 
(two men who were not present, and 
formed their account only from the 
rumors). Indeed, this representation 
stands in opposition to the Christian 
thought that Paul has expressed so glo- 
riously. Paul says in the first letter to the 
Corinthians, chap, xv., v. 50: **Now this I 
say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot 
inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth 
corruption inherit incorruption." 

Even if it were a secret, what happened 
on Mount Olive, the two disciples that were 
present, Matthew and John, in their 
writings, do not inform us a single 
word about the ascension. Even then 
the Esseen letter's account would be 
a very interesting one — that Jesus on the 
Mount only took a usual departure and 
afterwards fulfilled the duties of the 
Esseen Order by living a secluded life. 

When we are informed that Jesus retired 

152 The Crucifixion 

into solitude, and even from his vow to the 
Order, that he promised that when his dis- 
ciples wanted him he would manifest him- 
self unto them, it is evident that he did 
not leave the earth. But even with Jesus 
the traditions of the Jewish people and the 
old prophecy appear to have had some in- 
fluence, and instinctively guided many of 
his actions and parables, for even he was 
a child of his time and brought up in the 
traditions of his nation. 

The Esseen letter records that Jesus 
died in solitude six months afterwards, as 
a result of his sufferings, that had pros- 
trated and broken his constitution and his 
excited mind. It were to be wished that 
even the place was recorded where he died 
and was buried. The old Esseen does not 
give any account of the place, probably on 
account of being recommended silence on 
that subject by the Order. 








*'And ye shall he unto me a priestly king- 
dom, and a holy people." 

—2 M. B., chap. 14, v. 6. 

BY THE time when the greatest teacher 
of the Word, the great mediator, 
Jesus Christ, stepped forth among the 
Jewish people, proclaiming his doctrines 
of light and heavenly truths, that these 
his doctrines might spread light and 
warmth over the earth, and peace in the 
weary heart of men, had the above spoken 
of people in general very much deviated 
from the path of the Lord, from the knowl- 
edge of him, and from the doctrines of 
divinity given to Abraham and handed 
down to Isaac, Jacob and their descend- 
ants, and afterwards further interpreted 
and explained by the man of God, Moses. 

The interpreters of the Scriptures in the 
different ages of the Old Testament, or 


156 The Crucifixion 

the Scribes, had contrived to attribute to 
the holy Scriptures the meaning and exple- 
cation that was most convenient to their 
material advantage, estimation among the 
people, or their own wishes. Indeed, we 
find in the Scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment that holy men of the school of the 
prophets often stepped forth as the cham- 
pions of truth and defenders of light, who 
severely reproached the people for their 
sins and vices, and severely warned the 
false teachers who led the people astray 
and misinterpreted the laws of the Lord. 
But the people seldom heeded them, and 
many of them fell victims and martyrs for 
the vengeance of the priests, the scribes, 
and the fury of the people. 

By the time that Jesus Christ and his 
great predecessor, John, stepped forth 
among the people, the Jewish people was 
separated into several religious sects, that 
each had different views on religion. But 
even from the day that Moses, according to 
the command of God, consecrated the peo- 

Order of Essees 157 

pie to *'A covenant people to the Lord." 
2 M. B. 19 Chapt. 

There was always among them a certain 
class by whom the name of the Lord Jeho- 
vah was worshipped in truth and purity. 
Already in the time of the first Judges ap- 
peared this class as a distinct Order or 
Brotherhood, named **Nazirees,'' ^*Naza- 
rees, "or * * Nazarenes, ' ' and in the time of 
the Kings we find this Brotherhood under 
the name of the so-called *^ School of the 
Prophets. ' ' 

The members of this holy union had the 
design, * * To love and worship God in purity 
of heart, and to the best of their ability 
work on their own ennobling and perfec- 
tion; and of all their might to further the 
happiness and peace of their fellow men. ' ' 

In time of the Maccabai, this interest- 
ing Brotherhood appears under the name 
of **Hasidees," eller **Assidees," that is, 
* * the holy, " * * the pious ' ' ; and afterwards, 
in the time of St. John the Baptist and the 
great Master, under the name of 

158 The Crucifixion 

**Esseers/' or * * Essenes, ' ' that is, the 
** children of peace.'' 

It is not to be wondered at, that the 
scriptures of the New Testament do not 
directly mention this important and sig- 
nificant Brotherhood, as they lived sepa- 
rated from the world, as a defined Order, 
and admitted nobody that had not under- 
gone a term of trial for three years and 
sworn not to disclose for any outsiders 
what took place in their meetings. This 
Order had a material influence on the cul- 
ture and enlightening of the age and the 
ages that were to come. 

In the New Testament there are many 
expressions and references that directly 
appear to the thinker and the unprejudiced 
interpreter of the Bible, that indirectly 
speak of this Brotherhood; and just by 
these may be explained many undefined 
and dark quotations in the Scriptures, and 
rationally conceived, that otherwise would 
appear inexplicable and obscure. We will 
afterwards represent instances of this 

Order of Essees 159 

But before we proceed to a more minute 
illustration of this most remarkable Broth- 
erhood, we will first pay attention to the, in 
Jesus' time, most important and differing 
sects of religion among the Jewish people. 

These, first, the Pharisees, a sect full of 
hypocrisy and egotism. They distinguished 
themselves by rigidly observing all the out- 
ward forms of the Mosaic law, assumed 
holiness, haughtiness and ambition in uni- 
son with greedy aim after earthly win- 
nings, but did care little for the real purify- 
ing of the heart or true humanity; and 
combined with these peculiarities great de- 
sire for dignity and worldly esteem. At 
public meetings they always endeavored to 
be the principal ones and aspired generally 
for the esteem and favor of the people. 

The Master Jesus often severely re- 
proached them therefor, and warned and 
exhorted the people to shun their false doc- 
trines in the sayings : 

**Take heed and beware of the leaven of 
the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." 

160 The Crucifixion 

Math. Evang. Chap. 16, and in the same 
gospel, Chap. 23, where he four times cries 
*^Wo" unto them, he says **Wo nnto you, 
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye 
make clean the outside of the cup and of 
the platter, but within they are full of ex- 
tortion and excess.'' 

It is evident from this and several other 
quotations of the same kind, where Jesus 
reprimands them severely and rebukes 
them, that he considered the Pharisees the 
most vicious, cunning and dangerous of all 

Next we have, second, the Sadducees. 
These were a kind of philosophers who de- 
nied the immortality of the soul and a life 
after this, and they teached that they de- 
ceived themselves who lived a pious and 
devoted life and exercised virture, hoping 
therefor to get their reward after death. 

Such a reward after death there was not, 
but it always was a necessary duty that 
men should fulfil to themselves, by living 
a virtuous and good life, as they then, more 

Order of Essees 161 

contented in their mind, could proceed on 
their way through life, and in consequence 
thereof would the burden of life be easier 
to carry. 

This was their peculiar interpretation of 
the moral meaning of the commandments, 
but yet it preserved them from the hypoc- 
risy and the dissembling of the Pharisees. 

The Sadducees showed themselves open- 
ly to the world such as they in reality were, 
in a life intermixed with virtues, faults and 
vices. Toward the Master, Jesus, they 
never showed such an animosity as the 
Pharisees. On the contrary, they often 
with great attention and admiration seemed 
to listen to his doctrines of wisdom. 

They were more energetic and active 
than the Pharisees, and as they, like the 
former, had a great desire for acquiring 
wealth and worldly possessions, they were 
generally rich and considered the wealthi- 
est class among the Jews. The king, 
** Herod, '^ belonged to the sect of the Sad- 
ducees and acknowledged their doctrines. 

162 The Crucifixion 

The third sect comprised the Publicans. 
They are not to be considered as a distinct 
religious sect, but it is evident that they 
widely differed from the above named 
sects, and the so-called ^* proper Jews,'' in 
their religious belief; and this is even 
shown by the contempt in which they were 
held by the common people. 

But we have reasons to believe that this 
contempt often was unmerited, as they 
were often kindly received by the Master, 
Jesus, and he friendly communed with 
many of them. He speaks thus of himself 
in unison with them in Math. Chap, xi, v. 
19: **The Son of Man came eating and 
drinking and they say, behold a man glut- 
tonous, and a wine bibber, a friend of Pub- 
licans and sinners.'' But even the life of 
these he reproached on several occasions. 
In Math. 5 Chap., v. 46, he says: **For if 
ye love them which love you, what reward 
have ye; do not even the Publicans the 

Every Jew who had knowledge of the 

Order of Essees 163 

Scriptures of the Old Testament, shortly 
everybody that examined into things and 
claimed to possess the culture of his time, 
generally belonged to either the Pharisees, 
Sadducees, or the Essees. 

We know with certainty, and the writings 
of the Evangelists do not deny it, but to the 
contrary strengthen this fact, that the Mas- 
ter 's great predecessor, John, from his in- 
fancy was adopted and brought up in the 
School of the Esseen Order, and there ac- 
quired his knowledge and wisdom. 

We cannot here give any information on 
this subject, of what the higher degrees 
of the Order did know about it, as this 
description of the old Essees is written for 
the benefit of the brethren of all degrees, 
we will therefore confine ourselves to ex- 
amining the gospel and other New Testa- 
mental Scriptures for testimony to prove 
the same. 

It is evident from the gospel that John 
neither belonged to the sect of the Phari- 
sees nor to that of the Sadducees. He re- 

164 The Crucifixion 

buked them both severely for their lives, — 
as his great successor, — and when many of 
both the Pharisees and Sadducees came to 
him at Salem on the bank of the Jordan to 
be baptized by him, he said to them: **0 
generation of vipers, who hath warned you 
to flee from the wrath to come? Bring 
forth therefore fruits meet for repent- 
ance. ' ' Math. 3 Chap., 7 and 8 v. 

Herod adhered, as above mentioned, to 
the doctrine of the Sadducees, and it was 
this Herod, whom John so severely rebuked 
on several occasions for Herodias his 
brother Philip 's wife, and ^ ' for all the evils 
which Herod had done, added yet this 
above all, that he shut up John in prison. ' ' 
Luco, iii. Chap. 19-25. 

Lucas the Evangelist relates to us in his 
iii. chap., 12 and 13 v. : * * Then came also 
Publicans to be baptized and said unto 
him, * Master, what shall we do?' And he 
said unto them, ^ Exact no more than that 
which is appointed to you. ' ' ' 

John says about himself in the gospel of 

Order of Essees 165 

John, 1 Chap. 23 v.: **I am the voice of 
one crying in the wilderness''; and the 
Evangelists add that this answer did he 
give to * * they which were sent were of the 

Marcus says of John in his 1 Chap., 4 to 
6 vs.: **John did baptize in the wilderness 
and preach the baptism of repentance for 
the remission of sins. And John was 
clothed with camel's hair and with a girdle 
of a skin about his loins, and he did eat 
locusts and wild honey ' ' ; and in about the 
same words and sense does Matthew speak 
of John in his third chapter. 

We might cite more instances of the same 
kind, but these ought to be sufficient to 
show that the Scriptures of the New Testa- 
ment give a positive proof for the con- 
tended point that John did not belong to 
either the school of the Pharisees or that 
of the Sadducees. At the same time it 
gives more than a negative proof for the 
conclusion that he belonged to the holy 
order of the Esseers; and the more we 

166 The Crucifixion 

study the writings of the Evangelists and 
interpreters of the Bible, and consider who 
were the friends of John, and the doctrine 
he preached to the people, the more are we 
convinced that he belonged to the Essees. 

By comparing all the above named with 
the manner of life, ceremonies and funda- 
mental belief of the Essees, we are thereby 
convinced that this champion of truth was 
the messenger of the Brotherhood to pre- 
pare the way for Jesus and to promote his 
mission, who indeed had sent him. 

We will proceed to a truthful illustration 
of this Brotherhood, as we find it related 
of authentic authors from the commence- 
ment of the New Testament time, and let 
these speak for themselves. 

Of all the Gentile authors, none give 
more authentic and minute information on 
the subject than the Jewish historian, 
Josephus, in his work, De Bello Judaico, 
8 Chap., 2-13 vs.; and especially in his 
Historia Antiqua Judaico, 3 Book, 5 Chap. 

He lived both before and after the de- 

Order of Essees 167 

struction of Jerusalem by Titus, and as 
he himself belonged to the Esseen order, 
and had undergone the ordered term of 
trial for three years, his accounts merit 
our belief of its authenticity. Of his admis- 
sion into this Order he writes as follows : 

**When I had reached my sixteenth year 
did I undertake to examine into our dif- 
ferent religious sects and their doctrines, 
that having come to know them I might 
choose the one that to me appeared the 
best. I have already mentioned that there 
were three sects of Pharisees, Sadducees, 
and Essees. 

** Having resolved this, did I at once 
begin to prepare myself in different ways 
that I might be found worthy to be admit- 
ted into the Order of Essees. In order to 
accomplish this, I turned to a man called 
Banus, of whom was told that he belonged 
to the Brotherhood of Essees, and lived in 
the wilderness, made his clothes out of the 
bark and leaves of the trees, fed upon wild 
fruits, plants and herbs, and from holiness 

168 The Crucifixion 

bathed several times night and day in cold 

**In this man's company I spent three 
entire years, undergoing all kinds of trials, 
temptations and privations, and then re- 
turned to the city (Jerusalem.) When I 
had filled my nineteenth year did I com- 
mence to shape my life and habits accord- 
ing to the doctrines of the Pharisees, and 
this sect is very similar to the Grecian 

Of these, Josephus' own words, we are 
informed that he actually had undergone 
the, according to the Esseen law, ordered 
term of trial; and although he afterwards 
returned to Jerusalem, and in the future 
obeyed the doctrines of the Pharisees, yet 
did he continue to remain a member of 
the Esseen Brotherhood, and was admitted 
into their meetings as long as he did not 
transgress the duties of the Order, or in 
any way did break the oath that he had 
taken at his initiation. 

It was not before the Jewish kingdom 

Order of Essees 169 

was destroyed by Titus, Jerusalem and 
most of the other cities of the country laid 
in ashes, and the members of the Esseen 
Orders widely dispersed, that Josephus in 
his writings committed to the world what 
we here will communicate. 

Josephus was of high-priest by descend- 
ancy, and as it was in the tribe of Aaron 
that Phariseeism most flourished and had 
its foundation among the priests, it is not 
to be wondered that the nineteen-year-old 
Josephus soon tired of the rigid habits of 
the Essees, their toilsome work and frugal 
living, and that when he had gone through 
his term of trial found more pleasure in 
the jolly life of the Pharisees, as much 
more as these by hypocrisy and assumed 
piety could take part in many worldly 
amusements without thereby losing their 
esteem among the people. 

What we now will lay before the reader 
is written by himself and ought to be suf- 
ficient to show that he always harbored a 
high degree of esteem and admiration for 
the Brotherhood. 

170 The Crucifixion 

**The doctrine of the Essees," says he, 
''tends to learn all men that they confi- 
dently may trust their fate in the hands 
of God, as nothing happens without his 
will. They say that the soul is immortal, 
and they aspire to lead a righteous and 
honest life. 

Indeed, they send their offerings to the 
temple, but this they do, not because they 
consider it in any way meritable, but be- 
cause they consider it their duty to give 
their share of the offerings, that the other 
people shall not for their sake be oppressed 
and encumbered. 

* ' They are the most honest people in the 
world, and always as good as their word, 
very industrious and enterprising, and 
show great skill and concern in agriculture. 

''But most of all are those venerated, 
esteemed and admired who live in the wil- 
derness, on account of the sense of justice 
that they ever show and the courage and 
intrepidity that they manifest in ever de- 
fending truth and innocence. And this 

Order of Essees 171 

trait is not found in such a high degree 
neither with the Grecian nor any other peo- 
ple, but it has always characterized the 
Essees from time inmiemorial. 

**They exercise justice and equality in 
their dealings with all people, have all their 
property common, so that the rich does not 
consume more of his riches than the poor 
of his small means. In this way four thou- 
sand people pass their life. 

**They never marry, and keep no serv- 
ants. They consider that marriage would 
only create discord and rupture among the 
brethren, and do not think it right that one 
should be the slave or servant of the other, 
as all men are brethren and God their 

** Therefore do they live entirely sepa- 
rate from women and serve and assist each 

* * For accountants for the profits of their 
agricultural labor and handiwork they 
choose the most virtuous, honest and pious 
of their brethren. These also perform the 

172 The Crucifixion 

service of priests and provide for all the 
wants, as food and clothing. They all live 
the same simple, industrious and frugal 
life, and may be compared with the *Pal- 
istas' of the *Dacies\'' 

In his work. Be Bello Judaico, 8 Chap. 
2-13 vs., Josephus further writes : 

^ * The third class of philosophers among 
the Jews, and the class that is most 
esteemed for their just and moral life, is 
the so-called Essees or Esseens, that al- 
though they certainly descended from the 
Jewish people, yet show more amity and 
love for each other than the other Jews, 
and live a more moral life. 

**They shun and despise sensuality as a 
great sin, but consider a moral and tem- 
perate life a great virtue, and pride highly 
the strength of mind and the power to 
overcome the passions and desires of their 

** Therefore they subdue the sensual in- 
stinct, but willingly adopt the children of 
other people, and especially while these are 

Order of Essees 173 

very young, as they then are most suscepti- 
ble to teaching and impressions. 

* ^ They show great kindness to such chil- 
dren, hold them dear, and teach them all 
kinds of knowledge and science, morals and 

* * They do not reject wedlock, but, to the 
contrary, consider it necessary for the 
propagation of mankind; but themselves 
they want no intercourse with women, as 
they fear of their unchastity and levity, be- 
cause they consider that no woman gives 
her affections to her husband alone. 

**They despise riches and worldly gain, 
and the equality of property among them 
must be admired; therefore none of them 
are seen to live in abundance nor in need. 

**The laws of the Order regulate that 
every one that enters into the Brotherhood 
gives up to this all his property and wealth, 
and therefore among them are neither seen 
haughtiness nor slavish subjection ; but all 
live together as brethren, sharing good and 

174 The Crucifixion 

**The ^Ointment with oil,' which the 
other Jews praise so highly, they consider 
to be without any sacred power or use, and 
do not therefore use it, but to the contrary 
cleanse themselves from it if any one of 
their body should be touched thereby by an 

**For the administration and account of 
the common property, they elect inspectors 
and directors, but in every other respect 
they assist each other. 

* ^ They do not live in any particular town, 
but in every town the Order has its re- 
spective * house' where the members take 
their abode when they on their travels ar- 
rive, and they are there supplied with all 
they want. Everything is here to their dis- 
position, as if in their own houses, and 
here they are received as the best friends 
and near relations by persons they never 
before saw. 

**In every town there is an inspector, 
who has in his care clothes and other neces- 
sary things that he graciously distributes 
to them who need such. 

Order of Essees 175 

**The Essees use their clothes until they 
are worn out and can^t be used any longer. 
They neither buy nor sell among them- 
selves, but every member willingly gives 
his brother what he needs of his, and is 
again supplied by others with the needful ; 
and even if he thinks he never can repay it, 
he may without bashfulness receive it, as 
this is a rule with them. 

**The Esseen worship of God is grand, 
sacred and majestic; and before the sun 
rises and greets the earth with its beams, 
they do not speak on earthly matters, but 
read and send forth their sacred, humble 
prayers that they have learned from their 
fathers. The prayer over, the inspector 
points out the work in which each one is 
the most skilled. 

** Having thus worked for five hours, do 
they again gather, bathe themselves in cold 
water, and don a white linen garb. Having 
washed themselves, they proceed to the spe- 
cial halls of the Order, where no one dare 
come who does not belong to their Order. 

176 The Crucifixion 

** Having gone through the ceremonies 
that the law prescribes, they proceed, per- 
fectly cleansed, to their eating rooms 
with the same reverence as if they entered 
the holy temple. 

*^ Everybody having taken his place in 
supreme silence and stillness, the bakers 
of the Brotherhood enter, distributing a 
bread to each person after a certain order. 
The cook sets before each one a plate of 
vegetables and other eatables, and this 
being performed, one of the priests steps 
forth and holds a prayer, for they consider 
it a grave sin to rest or touch food before 

**The meal over, the priest reads an- 
other prayer, and then the hymn of praise 
is sung; and in this way they praise and 
thank God, the giver of all good, both be- 
fore and after the meal. 

**They then take off their white aprons, 
that they consider sacred clothes, and re- 
turn to their work, which they pursue till 
the twilight spreads over the earth. 

Order of Essees 177 

**Then they go to their frugal evening 
meal again, during which they observe 
the same ceremonies as at their dinner ; and 
if members from foreign parts have ar- 
rived, are they put in the chief places at 
the table. 

* ^ The meal is taken with the most solemn 
silence and stillness, no noise nor dispute 
disturbing the peace of the house. 

* * They talk by turns, and in a low tone, 
which will appear strange to those not used 
to it. They observe great temperance in 
their way of living, eat and drink only what 
is necessary for their want. 

**In general do they not act without thb 
knowledge and consent of their inspectors 
and director; but it is always left to their 
own free will to exercise benevolence and 
compassion to all in want, of all classes of 
society, but it was not allowed them to give 
any aid to their relatives without inform- 
ing the inspector. But in other matters it 
was allowed every member *To feed the 
hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the home- 

178 The Crucifixion 

less, comfort the sick, visit, assist and com- 
fort the prisoner, and comfort, aid and pro- 
tect the widows and fatherless. ' 

**They never let themselves to be over- 
come by anger, hatred, vengeance, or ill- 
will. Indeed, they are the champions of 
faith, truth and honesty, and the servants 
and arbitrators of peace. 

** Their *Yea' and *No' was with them as 
binding as the most sacred oath, and ex- 
cept the oath they take at their admittance 
into the Order, they never bind themselves 
through an oath, neither in their public nor 
private life, for oaths and profanity are 
with them as much shunned as perjury it- 
self ; and they consider that the man loses 
his esteem among his fellow citizens whose 
word is not sufficient without swearing. 

'^They study with perseverance and in- 
terest ancient writings, and especially pre- 
fer such that are intended to indurate and 
strengthen the body and ennoble and sanc- 
tify the spirit. 

''They have profound knowledge of the 

Order of Essees 179 

art of healing, and study it arduously ; ex- 
amine and are acquainted with the medici- 
nal herbs and plants, that they prepare as 
medicine for man and beasts. They also 
know the use and worth of minerals as 
medicine, and do a great deal of good by 
applying these for healing the sick. 

** Anybody that wishes to belong to the 
Brotherhood is not at once admitted, but 
has first to pass a whole year of trial out- 
side the same, and live according to certain 
rules and regulations. If he during this 
time has proved himself worthy through a 
strictly moral and virtuous life, and tem- 
perance, is he provided with a spade, an 
apron, and a white garb; and now he is 
again subjected to new trials, and, having 
passed through these, he is sprinkled with 
water, or * baptized,' as a sign of his spiri- 
tual purity and liberation from material 

** Having thus proved his chastity, and 
being further tried in his strength of char- 
acter and other qualities, and found to be 

180 The Crucifixion 

worthy, lie is at last admitted an actual 
member of the Brotherhood. But before 
he touches any food in the presence of the 
Brotherhood, does he take this sacred vow : 
* Above all things to fear God, of a true and 
pure heart, exercise justice and honesty to 
all men; neither of impulse nor influenced 
by others, harm or hurt any man; during 
all his life to shun injustice, and ever un- 
daunted, further truth and justice.' 

* * Further, he vows sacredly ever to obey 
his worldly rulers, as nobody has the rule 
without the will of God, and if he become 
a ruler, does he vow not to misuse power, 
and to set an example for his subjects by a 
virtuous life, frugality and plain clothing. 
He shall always love truth and shun false- 
hood, preserve his mind from any impure 
thought or impulse, and never stain his 
hands with unjust gain. 

'*For the third, he vows never to inter- 
pret or explain anything of the laws of the 
Order in any other spirit than he himself 
has received it from the holy fathers and 

Order of Essees 181 

faithfully hide and take care of the books 
and archives of the Order and according 
to special regulation to keep secret the 
name of the angels with whom the fathers 
formerly stood in communion. 

**This was the vow that every member 
must take and which they considered so 
sacred that they would rather suffer the 
most violent death than to break it. The 
member who broke his vow, or was catched 
in the act of any crime or vice, or could 
be proved to have committed the act, was 
expelled from the Brotherhood, and his fate 
was to be pitied; for if the Brotherhood 
showed him no mercy, nor forgave and re- 
ceived him again, he generally had to 
starve to death, as the one who once had 
offered himself up to the service of the 
Brotherhood and sworn faithfully to sus- 
tain and obey its laws and regulations, 
broke his vow, could not receive any food, 
aid or assistance of any one, but had gener- 
ally to live in the deserts and forests and 
there in the open air seek his support of 

182 The Crucifixion 

herbs, roots and wild fruit till death put an 
end to his miserable life. 

'*But often it happened that the leader 
and brethren of the Brotherhood took 
mercy upon him and again received him 
into their meetings in the very moment 
when this miserable was despairing and 
near starvation, for they considered that a 
man who was driven to despair and mortal 
anxiety was punished enough for his crime. 

*^In their administration of justice they 
were indeed severe, but sincere and very 
just. Nobody could be condemned by a 
court of less than one hundred persons, 
but a verdict that a majority of these ren- 
dered was unchangeable in all cases. 

** Besides Jehovah, the Creator of all, 
they all also worshipped highly their 
* Lawgiver' (This their Lawgiver was not 
Moses, as many have supposed. The 
Essees often spoke the name of Moses in 
their conversations with the Grentiles, but 
in their law it was strictly prohibited to 
speak the name of their Lawgiver to any 

Order of Essees 183 

uninitiated), and he whoever contemptu- 
ously spoke his name was punished with 

^ * They had great esteem and veneration 
for old age, and even considered it right 
to agree to and respect the opinion of the 
majority, as many eyes always see more 
than two eyes. 

They keep the Sabbath more punctually 
and conscientiously than any other Jews, 
and do no labor on the Sabbath, for they 
not only prepare and cook their food 
beforehand, that they may not be obliged to 
make a fire on the Sabbath; but they also 
did not dare touch or move from one place 
to another the dishes in which was their 
food and drink. Every time they had per- 
formed their natural wants they washed 
themselves, as if they thereby had become 
unclean or stained. 

**A11 the members of the Brotherhood 
are grouped in four separate classes. The 
youngest brethren are considered so in- 
ferior in comparison with the elder, as re- 

184 The Crucifixion 

gards their inward purity, tliat the latter 
again have to wash themselves if they hap- 
pened to come in contact with the former, 
as if they had been stained by the touch 
of an unclean or uninitiated. 

** Generally these people grew very old, 
and I myself know several who have ar- 
rived to an extraordinary old age; and I 
presume this fact may be accounted for by 
their temperate, laborious life, and strict 

* * Their courage and uncommon tranquil- 
ity cannot be disturbed by the greatest 
calamities, adversities or troubles, for they 
can bear suffering and pains with the 
greatest calmness and strength of mind, 
and in defense of anything good and just 
they gladly prefer death for life. 

*^ During the Eoman war they have in- 
deed been subjected to great calamities, 
suffering and excruciations. Many of them 
have been put to the rack, and, living, 
crushed by a wheel, burnt alive, or boiled 
in great kettles, buried alive, crushed with 

Order of Essees 185 

millstones. Indeed, all conceivable instru- 
ments of torture and suffering have been 
invented and used to make them deny their 
faith, deride their Lawgiver, or eat such 
food as was prohibited by their law; but 
all these efforts have been in vain. Un- 
shaken in their determination, they have 
suffered these excruciations in silence and 
with great endurance; and many of them 
have in the very pain rebuked their enemies 
with the sharp sword of the word of truth, 
and have then, to the great amazement of 
the bystanders, in a calm mind and joyful 
mien, given up the spirit in the firm belief 
to see it again — for they have the firm be- 
lief and faith that their bodies shall decay 
and become dust, but that the souls are 
immortal, and shall live eternally.*' 

Josephus' words are: '^Opinio antem 
apud Essenos firmata constitit, corrupti- 
bilia guidem esse cor par a, animas antem 
immortales semper remanere." 

**They say that during the worldly life 
the spirit is chained to the body like a pris- 

186 The Crucifixion 

oner in his cell, but when these chains 
burst, by wear and decay, then the spirit 
is freed from the bodily prison, and, al- 
ready tasting the heavenly bliss, it soars 
up to the bright kingdom of joy and peace. 

** They. agree with the disciples of the 
Grecian philosophers, that the pious 
spirits, previous to their admission into the 
joy of heaven, hover in space over the 
waters, without being affected by rain, 
snow, cold or heat. 

^*They maintain that by the doctrine of 
the immortality of the soul men are pro- 
moted and encouraged to a virtuous life 
and shun vice. Many of the Essees have 
often stepped forth among the people as 
prophets, and informed of things to hap- 
pen, which has been easier to do for these 
holy men, as they from their earliest in- 
fancy study nature and the doctrine of 
God; are instructed in goodly books and 
the writings of the prophets, and grow in 
wisdom and purity of heart. Their 
presages often came true, and this in- 

Order of Essees 187 

creased their esteem with the people as 
holy men and prophets. 

* * There was still another class among the 
Esseens who, although they corresponded 
with the description of the Brotherhood in 
general, as doctrines of religion, laws and 
ceremonies, differed from them in regard 
to wedlock. These latter consider that 
everybody who does not marry hereby con- 
tracts the propagenation and destination 
of mankind, as men would soon cease to 
exist if they lived by such rules. 

* * But ere the members of this class mar- 
ried, they put the one they had chosen for 
their wife on a term of trial for three 
years ; and if, after this threefold trial and 
cleansing, the woman was found to be 
chaste and faithful, and capable of bearing 
children, they married her. They never 
had sexual intercourse with the wife in her 
pregnancy, thereby to show they had not 
married from lust, but to fulfil the com- 
mand of Jehovah, *Be fruitful, increase 
and fill the earth.' 

188 The Crucifixion 

**Wlien the women bathe or wash them- 
selves they are clothed in a linen garb, in 
accordance with the men, who when they 
bathe, wear an apron or a belt around the 
waist. In whatever they do they exercise 
great order and chastity, and rightly do 
they deserve to be called an example for 
the life of other people. ' ' 

Such is the description that the learned 
Josephus gives of this interesting Brother- 
hood, their doctrine, customs, ceremonies 
and lives, according to what he himself has 
found of his own observances within the 
same; he having been admitted as a real 
member after being tried for three years. 

Another learned and authentic author is 
an old Jewish philosopher called Philo, who 
lived contemporary with Jesus, and dwelt 
in Alexandria, who has given to posterity 
a description of the Order of the Essees, 
their doctrines, customs and ceremonies. 
In several of his writings that have been 
preserved to our day, he speaks of this 
Brotherhood, and in his work, ^^Quod 

Order of Essees 189 

omnis vis prohus liher sW — Every truly 
upright man is free. 

He writes specially about the theoretical 
Essees, or the so-called Therapeut (the 
word ** Therapeut '' means a physician), 
and his description of the Order corre- 
sponding with Josephus, and thus we have 
two authentic authors that correspond per- 
fectly in their description of the doctrine, 
life, customs and ceremonies of this Order. 

According to the account of Philo, ' ' The 
*Therapeuts' were Essees who, of their 
own free will, retired into solitude, and who 
from love of godliness and heavenly things, 
passed their time in studying religion and 
nature. They live in several places in Pal- 
estine and Egypt, and in this last country 
their greatest congregation was in the 
vicinity of the city of Alexandria, in a 
lovely valley by the Sea of * Moria, ' where 
the air in this country is very mild and 

**Here each one lived in their respective 
houses, or rather huts, but so close to each 

190 The Crucifixion 

other that in time of danger the brethren 
could call to each other and hasten to mu- 
tual help and assistance.'' 

Among these Therapeuts there were oth- 
ers who lived in solitude in deserts and 
caverns, as, for example, Banus, whom 
Josephus mentions; and to this class be- 
longed most probably, John the Baptist, 
(Luca Evang. 1 Chap. 63 v., Marc. 1 Chap. 
4, and Matt. 3 Chap., 4 v.), for his habits 
and mode of life correspond according to 
the gospel with those of the Therapeuts. 

Like the general members of the Order 
of Essees he had disciples, whom he 
brought up and instructed, but that the 
New Testament does not directly record 
John as a member of the Esseen Order nor 
mention the same Order, this may easily 
be explained by the circumstances that 
every member of the Order had to take 
a sacred oath at their initiation never to 
divulge any of the secrets of the Order 
to anybody that did not belong to it and 
not to manifest himself a member of the 

Order of Essees 191 

Order in cases where it was not necessary. 

That our Lord and Master, Jesus, took 
John and his disciples into his service, goes 
to show that he at least prized the noble 
efforts of the Esseers for truth and justice, 
and that their profound knowledge in the 
science of nature and the scriptures of the 
prophets, was known to him. 

The Pharisees generally conceived the 
scriptures of the prophets liberally, and 
misunderstood altogether the spiritual 
meaning thereof, as regards the coming of 
Messias. But the Essees interpreted and 
conceived the scriptures and prophecies of 
the coming of Messias allegorical, viewing 
the divine secrets earnestly and pro- 

Therefore Jesus chose for his firm and 
faithful disciples, the pious and unassum- 
ing Essees, among whom John, the son of 
Zacharias, was one of the most devoted 
and best versed in the scriptures, who 
stepped forth to proclaim the coming of 
Messias in Christ. And with the most sin- 

192 The Crucifixion 

cere love, greatest perseverance, and firm 
faith, did John seal and confirm this truth 
through the cleansing by water, through 
baptism (which with the Essees had the 
double significance of both bodily and 
spiritual purifying), and in Christendom 
considered the first Sacrament. 

Before a Neophite was admitted, or al- 
lowed to appear before the Brotherhood, 
having gone through the first trials, he had 
to pass three days and nights in a lonely 
grotto, in religious and solemn meditation. 
For his sustenance he found frugal but 
sufiicient food, consisting of fruits, bread 
and water. 

When this time was passed he was 
brought to the Brotherhood in the evening, 
immediately after the setting of the sun, 
where certain questions were given him to 
answer; and when he had there taken the 
oath of initiation, the brotherly kiss passed 
the round of the brethren, whereupon the 
Neophite was dressed in the white garb, 
as a sacred emblem of his purity of soul, 

Order of Essees 193 

as he now having consecrated himself to 
Jehovah in the cause of truth and light. 

The elder of the Brotherhood then in- 
itiated him, saying: ** Beloved son, you 
are consecrated to Jehovah, therefore 
choose your path after his will; contend 
ever undaunted for truth and virtue; try 
and examine everything minutely and con- 
scientiously, and having tried much, choose 
the good and useful in life, and use it for 
the good of yourself and your f ellowmen. ' ' 

Then he was given a spade and an apron, 
and one of the elders of the Brotherhood 
spoke as follows: '*The Brotherhood is 
henceforth thy world, thy all, thy father 
and mother, thy sister and brother; and 
henceforth it is the duty of the Brother- 
hood to care for thee, protect thee, and 
guard thee, for hence thou art its beloved 

Some of the priests then read the prayer 
of the Brotherhood, and when he had pro- 
nounced the last word, all the breth- 
ren shouted in chorus: **Amen! Amen! 

194 The Crucifixion 

The usual hymn of praise was then sung, 
and the brethren sat down to their frugal, 
brotherly meal, or feast of love, but still 
the Neophite was not allowed to sit by the 
brethren's table, but had to take his place 
by a special table in the presence of the 

Now again came a trial of twelve months, 
and when all the years of trials, three full 
years, were ended, the Neophite was con- 
sidered an actual member of the Brother- 
hood, and then he was initiated and grad- 
ually instructed in the doctrines and 
secrets of the Order. 

The Jews in general called this Brother- 
hood,'* The Holy Brotherhood of the Chosen 
Ones,'' or **Hasidees," that is, the pious, 
or the *' Children of Peace," of whom 
Jesus speaks on several occasions. In 
Luke, 10 Chap. 5 v., when he says : ** Wlien 
ye come into a house say first, 'Peace be 
to this house.' And if the son of peace 
be there, your peace shall rest upon it; if 
not, it shall turn to you again." 

Order of Essees 195 

Likewise Nathaniel says to Jesus: 
'* Whence knowest thou meT' Jesus ans- 
wered and said unto him, ** Before that 
Philip called thee, when thou wast under 
the fig tree, I saw thee." Evang. John, 1 
Chap., 48 v., and also do we refer to the 
conversation with Nicodemus, John, 3 

The brethren had their special signs, 
and thereby recognized each other when 
they met. These signs were: A certain 
movement of the right hand, a grip, the 
brotherly kiss, and the word of salutations 
— ** Peace be with you my brethren''; and 
it is significant that Jesus, on occasions 
where he suddenly or unannounced stepped 
forth among his disciples, always saluted 
them with the words: ** Peace be with 
you.'' Luke, 24 Chap., 36 v.; Matt. 20 
Chap., 19-26 v. 

The Essees represented their doctrines 
to the younger members and brethren in 
parables or allegorical form, thereby to 
form and exercise the mind and sharpen 

196 The Crucifixion 

the thoughts, that they might gradually 
get used to interpret the glorious doctrines 
and truths that were hidden under the 

Josephus says therefore, ^^ Maxima enim 
'philosophic pars apud Essenos, prised ritu 
per Allegorias traditur''; and we know 
that the Master, Jesus, often made use of 
the allegorical representation and parables, 
when he would impress some moral com- 
mandment or high idea in the hearts of his 
disciples or the people, or some sacred 
doctrine of his divine truths. 

The moral commandments of the Essees 
appear otherwise to be very much similar 
to those which the ancient philosophers and 
wise men teached, but still more similar 
are they to the doctrines that Jesus 

In my little work '^ Palestine in the time 
of Jesus'^ I have, page 88, showed this by 
several examples. 

Yes, the very fundamental command- 
ments of the moral law of the Essees con- 

Order of Essees 197 

sists of the same words that are quoted 
in Luc, 10 Chap., where it says: **And 
behold a certain lawyer stood up and 
tempted him saying, * Master what shall I 
do to inherit eternal lifeT '' 

He said unto him, **What is written in 
the law? How readest thou?" 

And he answering said, *'Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart and 
with all thy soul and with all thy strength 
and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor 
as thyself/' 

And Jesus said unto him: ^^Thou hast 
answered right. This do and thou shalt 

Everybody that entered into the Broth- 
erhood took the solemn vow, * ^ To love God 
above all, and exercise love and justice to 
all men." 

The places within the borders of Pales- 
tine where most of the Essees lived and 
had their meetings in the time of John the 
Baptist and Jesus, were the country round 
Nazareth, the valley Achor near Betha- 

198 The Crucifixion 

bara, the country round the castle of Mas- 
seda, the desert at Ephraim, the moun- 
tainous country at Igutha, not far from 
Hebron, the town Bethania by Jerusalem, 
the valley at Thabor and the country sur- 
rounding the stronghold Macherous, where 
John afterwards was a captive and where 
he by the command of Herod was beheaded. 

Such was this remarkable Brotherhood, 
within whose sacred association the true 
God was worshipped and the doctrine of 
true religion preserved in purity, truth 
and spirit, in many centuries. 

For this, their pure, unsophisticated 
worship, this Brotherhood was renowned, 
before, by, and after the time of Jesus; 
and useful, indeed, did their firm faith in 
God prove; for soon after the departure 
of the Master came the times when they 
were tempted, and when it was of need to 
be firm in their faith. 

After Jesus' departure was the Broth- 
erhood subjected to the most severe 
temptations, the greatest trials and perse- 

Order of Essees 199 

cutions. The Romans spread war and 
desolation over the unlucky land of the 
Jews, and with the horrors of the war 
followed thousands of miseries. But none 
were more persecuted than the pious 

The Roman chiefs and soldiers invented 
all conceivable kinds of tortures and ex- 
cruciations, to make them mock and deny 
God, but by none of all their barbaric 
means did they succeed in shaking the 
perseverance and firm faith of these pious 

In the first fury of the war, many of the 
Esseens who lived in the cities, had fled to 
their brethren in the desert and the moun- 
tains, and here hidden, could they in peace 
and brotherly love, exercise their worship 
of God, according to the teachings of the 
Master, unharmed, in its purity and truth. 

But soon their places of refuge were 
discovered and traced by their enemies, 
when they were driven out of their places 
of concealment, and most of them fell 

200 The Crucifixion 

bloody victims to the fury and rage of the 
Eoman soldiers. 

With the greatest calmness, without 
complaint or murmur, they suffered the 
lengthened pains of death, and sealed the 
Master's teachings with their blood. 

But there were still many who, in spite 
of the inventive means used hj the Eomans 
to trace their ambuscades, remained undis- 
covered, and thus were saved from a suf- 
fering death, and these are just the fathers 
of the Brotherhood, who have preserved in 
its purity their doctrines, secrets, and the 
knowledge that they themselves inherited 
from wise fathers, and handed down to 
their posterity, and these their doctrines 
give the truest and greatest manifestation 
of the greatness, wisdom and power of 
God, and his inscrutable love to all men. 



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the Religions, Philosophies and Sciences of the world, 
and shows that in ancient India we have the source of all 
civilizations. In the author's preface he says, "To 
religious despotism, imposing speculative delusions, and 
class-legislation may be attributed the decay of nations." 

Spain is in the midst of her revolution against wax 
candles and holy water. Italy has not yet perfected the 
consolidation of her unity. 

Rome is preparing to denounce all conquests of modern 
intelligence, freedom of thought, liberty of conscience, 
civil independence, etc. Excommunication attempts to 
revivify its impotent thunders, and once more to bind 
emperors, kings and people to its yoke. 

Poland exists no more; the muscovite sword has 
realized the prediction of dying Kosciusco. 

The Czar of Russia is Pope. 

And yet — enter temple, church, or mosque — every- 
where is intolerant persecution placed under the Aegis 
of God. It is no longer Mediaeval fanaticism, for faith 
is dead; it is hypocrisy that rummages the arsenals of the 
past for arms, that they still have power to terrify the 
people once more until they grovel on bended knees 
in the dust of credulity and darkness. 

The author spent years in travel, even to the remotest 
parts of India, studied the language and dialects of the 
people, noted their method of living and thereby tracing 
the source of all religions to the parent stem, India. 

It is indeed a very great book; it may shock the few, 
but even they will lay the book down with reluctance. 

Bound in black cloth, 325 pages. Price $2.00 Postpaid. 


By TK 
Volume 111. The Harmonic Series 

This book is also from the pen of the author of "/i&e 
great psychological crimed and is a presentation, analysis 
and elucidation of the fundamental principle and working 
formulary of the Great School of Natural Science, which 
principle and formulary are known to the "Masters of 
the Law" and their students and friends as the ^^con- 
fittuctive principle of nature in individual life,^ 

The author of "The Great Work" is the American 
Representative of the great school of natural science, a 
School which was hoary with age when the foundation of 
the great Pyramid was laid; a School which ante- 
dates all present authentic history and records; a School 
against which the waves of superstition and ignorance 
have dashed in vain, because its foundation is the rock 
of TRUTH. 

To the intelligent freemason as well as the general 
reader this book is invaluable, for it puts before him facts 
in the history of that Ancient Order which heretofore 
have been **buried in the rubbish of the temple-** 

^'The great Work'' Is unique in that its statements 
are verified facts which every reader may prove for him- 
self under right guidance if he but have the "Intelligence 
to know, the Courage to dare, and the Perseverance to 
do." The Philosophy taught in this book appeals to both 
Reason and Conscience, and is an inspiration to "//ve the 
life and know the law,** Every student realizes that, if he 
so wills, he may be an heir to theWisdom of the Ages» 

The Great Work belongs in your Library, 

Bound in maroon Interlaken cloth. 
Price $2.00 Postpaid. 

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